Washington State Department of Financial Institutions

News Release

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Lyn Iverson, Director of Communications
PH 360.902.8731 liverson@dfi.wa.gov

Teachers and administrators interested in being included in the Mad About Money II 2007 tour can contact Bonnie Bernstrom at the National Theatre for Children, 1-800-858-3999 ext. 201. To schedule an interview with actors, call Katie Griep at ext. 202.


Washington Students Are Getting "Mad About Money"

DFI sponsors financial education theatrical tour for state’s middle schools

OLYMPIA – Don’t be surprised when the middle school student you know starts up a conversation about wants verses needs, budgeting, credit or investing. Thousands of students across Washington will be introduced to these money management principles and more this fall through the hilariously outrageous antics of the characters in “Mad About Money II.”

The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI) is pleased to bring another year of financial education to middle schools throughout Washington State with a live, in-school stage performance of the National Theatre for Children’s “Mad About Money II.”

The National Theatre for Children, Inc. (NTC) will teach middle-school students about the principles of saving and spending with a unique mixture of personal finance and humor. The tour began Monday, Oct. 8 and continues through November. By the tour’s end, the troupe will introduce more than 12,000 teachers and students to money management.

“In a time when 33 percent of high school seniors already have a credit card and more than 40 percent of families in America live beyond their means, spending 110 percent of their income every year, it is critical that smart spending habits start early,” DFI Director Scott Jarvis said. “To do that, you need to reach younger students in a way that will have a lasting impact.”

Mad About Money combines improvisational comedy with proven education techniques to help students understand the basics of personal finance. Performances leave students and teachers with lessons recalled with laughter.

The show features two professional actors portraying a wide variety of colorful characters in four sketches. While watching a teen new to the workforce interact with his boss, students will learn how taxes and other deductions reduce one’s “gross income” to a lesser “net income.” A game show host and contestant spin the wheel of chance, helping students understand the role of risk in investing. While listening to the conversation of a tourist on vacation and a souvenir salesman, students discover how advertising aims to sway their decision making, and their spending. And with a little imagination and a time machine that lets the audience see the future, students can see what one eager spender could have purchased had they saved their money for later rather than spending it as they got it.

In addition to the performances, the Mad About Money II program components include educational workbooks in Spanish and English, take-home activities, Internet exercises, handy guidebooks, curricular aids for teachers and a rigorous testing method for measuring program results.

Reviews from last year’s Mad About Money have been overwhelmingly positive, with teachers making requests for the next tour almost before the troupe finishes packing up.

“Very captivating. You truly held all 100 students attention. Thank you for the bilingual. The actors were super.”
-- Nancee Alvord, Mossyrock Junior High, Mossyrock

“Fantastic show. The students stayed engaged and learned!”
-- Jeanne Apffel, Hunt Middle School, Tacoma

“Awesome! Great inclusion of Spanish! It is such an important subject that needed to be brought to our kids' attention. Thanks.”
-- Julie Fredrickson, Stewart Middle School, Tacoma

Mad About Money II Fall Tour 2007

About DFI
www.dfi.wa.gov • (360) 902-8700 • (877) 746-4334 En Espaņol at 1.888.976.4422
The Washington State Department of Financial Institutions regulates a variety of financial service providers such as banks, credit unions, mortgage brokers, consumer loan companies, payday lenders, and securities brokers and dealers. The department has won numerous awards for its financial literacy and outreach programs developed to protect consumers from financial fraud. In addition to posting information about licensees and administrative actions, the DFI’s Web site features consumer tips on a variety of financial fraud-related topics.

About The National Theatre for Children
www.nationaltheatre.com • 1-800-858-3999
Founded in 1978, The National Theatre for Children, Inc. (known at that time as Small Change Original Theatre, Inc.) is dedicated to educating young people on important and timely curricular subjects by offering educational live theater in our nation's schools. Based in Minneapolis, NTC has developed the art of teaching through live theater into an evidence-based science of its own. NTC has pioneered extremely successful programs in health, science, social studies, reading and math. Each year, dozens of troupes perform live educational theater programs in front of millions of students, in thousands of schools, nationwide.