Helping kids learn about money
Vane Sopoaga knows money matters.
The ASB GetWise facilitator spends his days teaching money literacy to pupils, largely in the Wellington region, and has just reached a milestone. On Thursday, at Rangikura School in Porirua, Sopoaga delivered one of his workshops to his 100,000th pupil.
The number, he says, was achieved over six years of ‘‘just preaching the good word of financial literacy’’.
In total, he has delivered more than 4000 workshops to more than 257 schools.
With a background in dance, performing arts and social work, Sopoaga – and his personas of Captain Cashtastic and P.T, a personal trainer – brings energy and fun to the classroom as a way of teaching kids what money is and how to earn and save it.
‘‘If we can have the ability to just nudge them, just gently, into a positive direction where they’re going to make some better financial decisions, it can have a huge impact on their lives.’’
Sopoaga says he didn’t learn anything he teaches during his school years.
‘‘I saved up my whole primary and intermediate years and I ended up saving $8.80,’’ he says.
‘‘And as soon as I got it out with my bank book, me and my brother took the train from Pukerua Bay to Porirua to the McDonalds, and that was the first Big Mac I’ve ever eaten. I saved up all those years and bought a Big Mac.’’
ASB began its GetWise programme in 2009.
The workshops fit the school curriculum and are designed in collaboration with experts in primary education and cognitive development.
Vane Sopoaga teaches a class about financial literacy.