Reading Makes ¢ents

In conjunction with Financial Literacy Month and Money Smart Week® (MSW), the WICPA will host its 10th Reading Makes Cents event in April 2018.

In 2017, more than 1,400 kids were reached by WICPA members. See a photo caption from our first year of the program in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

By volunteering in the Reading Makes Cents program, you can help Wisconsin kids become money smart! Visit the local elementary schools of your sons, daughters, nieces, nephews or neighbors in April and read to students about the basics of money. Books can be selected from a recommended reading list or you can use a book provided by the WICPA.

WICPA members will receive handouts to bring to class, including a flyer for parents about teaching kids to save, a prize for the students and financial literacy curriculum information to leave with the teacher.

To pledge your participation for 2018, click here. If you have questions, email Mary Murray.

For book ideas, see our recommended reading list.

Money Smart Week® (MSW) is a series of free classes and activities designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. MSW partners will be hosting their events for one week in mid-to-late April. It would be great, but not necessary that you read during this week.

Interested in more than just reading a book to the class?

  • Icebreakers: Depending on the age group you are speaking to, you can start your visit with a conversation about money. For young children, show them a penny, nickel, dime and quarter and ask them if they know the value of each coin. Ask them if they own a piggy bank and talk to them about how important it is to save money. For older kids, you can talk about needs versus wants

Financial literacy web sites for students, teachers, parents and CPAs

Finance in the classroom
Financial Ed Blog

Financial Ed Resources

The Mint
Practical money skills
Money Instructor 
A to Z Kids Stuff
Feed the Pig for tweens
Frugal Dad
Helping kids gets smart about money
The Money Mammals
Jump Start
360 degrees of financial literacy
Financial Literacy:Teach It!


action steps

What to do:

  • Select a class at an elementary school and contact the teacher.
  • Set a date during April.
  • Use the book, Those Shoes, provided by the WICPA, or purchase or borrow a money-themed book targeted toward the age level of the class you are visiting.
  • Pledge your participation by filling out this form, and materials will be sent to you.
  • Visit the class, read your book and hand out your goodies!

CPAs will receive:

  • An informational flyer for parents for each student.
  • A prize for the students.
  • Financial literacy information to leave with the teacher.

What do CPAs say about Reading Makes Cents?


"The classes made thank-you cards after my visit, and it was neat to see how some of them mention that they had a discussion with their parents about opening a bank account and others mentioned how they are now saving for larger items they want to buy." Kimberly Peterson, CPA

"Adults have a huge impact on children. Going into the classroom allows the students to interact with adults that can enhance their education." Karen Smerchek, CPA

"I think this is a great program that teaches age appropriate concepts to children. My daughter really enjoyed having me at school, and the other children thought it was cool too." Kelly Sics, CPA

"This is a good program for everyone involved. Money management isn't always in the curriculum, and this started a good conversation." Mike Matias, CPA