Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Returns to Eliot Arts Magnet with $ixth Grade Cents Financial Literacy Workshops

Five-week program includes information on the stock market, budgeting, credit, banking and more from program partners Wells Fargo and Ideal Youth

Published : Thursday, February 1, 2018 | 6:15 PM

Pasadena Chamber of Commerce

Image Courtesy Pasadena Chamber of Commerce

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association inaugurated the fifth year of its $ixth Grade ¢ents financial literacy program for 6th graders at Eliot Arts Magnet in the Pasadena Unified School District.

“We are very pleased to be invited back to Eliot Arts Magnet for a fifth year of financial literacy workshops for 6th graders,” said Pasadena Chamber CEO Paul Little. “When we conceived the program as a pilot, we didn’t know if it would work, let alone be here five years later. Now every sixth grader is getting basic information on financial literacy, including budgeting, banking, credit and even how the stock market works.”

Staff members from local branches of Wells Fargo volunteer once a week for four weeks to provide insights and information on money handling, budgeting, savings, banking and credit. Ideal Youth does a module on how the stock market works and basics of investing.

Sixth Grade ¢ents is embedded in the 6th grade math classes at Eliot. Math teachers work with Chamber staff and volunteer presenters to ensure that the financial literacy workshops reflect and reinforce the lessons being taught in the classroom. “What really seems to engage the students is equating the mathematics they are learning with keeping track of and growing their financial resources,” Mr. Little said. “Once they realize that math is the language of money, the students look at the multiplication, division and percentages they are calculating a little bit differently.”

This year, nearly 200 6th graders are taking part in the program every Tuesday for five weeks. Week three of 4ixth Grade ¢ents concluded this week (Tuesday, January 30, 2018). For the next two weeks local representatives of Wells Fargo will be discussing budgeting and prioritizing spending and how credit works and how to use it responsibly.

The real strength of $ixth Grade ¢ents is the partnership with Wells Fargo and Ideal Youth. The representatives of these companies have ties to the local community and reflect the students they are presenting to. In a few cases, presenters are alumni of Eliot. “We really work to ensure the presenters are people the students can see and think ‘that could be me,” Mr. Little remarked. “We want to young people to see that careers in banking and finance are as achievable for them as for any other middle school student.”

$ixth Grade ¢ents concludes with a pizza party for the students. Each student who completes the program also receives a certificate from the Pasadena Chamber and other recognitions.

$ixth Grade ¢ents is one of many work-based learning initiatives undertaken by the Pasadena Chamber with the Pasadena Unified School District. Those efforts include summer intern placements, job shadowing for high school student, classroom speakers from the business community and mentoring. If you would like to volunteer your time, host and intern, be a job shadow location or mentor a local student, visit: and fill out the brief volunteer form.

You can support the Chamber’s work-based learning and workforce development activities by donating to the Pasadena Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Any donation is 100% tax deductible and will go directly to supporting our work with students in our local public schools. To donate visit:

The Pasadena Chamber of Commerce and Civic Association is a business service member organization that works to ensure the prosperity of its members through a variety of offerings including referrals, networking, workshops and seminars, events and much more. The Chamber serves 1450 member companies.

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