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Moree East Public School students successfully complete Barefoot Investor Jam Jar Project

Moree East Public School students are now savvy savers after successfully completing the Barefoot Investor Jam Jar Project.

The local school was one of only 10 schools across the country chosen to take part in Barefoot Investor Scott Pape's pilot Jam Jar Project, which he hopes to eventually roll out to every school in Australia.

"Two of our staff members had read Scott Pape's book and have done it personally," Moree East principal Lorinda Potter said.

"Brooke [Chudleigh, year 3/4 teacher] started it a simplified version in her classroom and as a team, we decided to start implementing the idea across the whole school. Then we found out that Scott Pape was offering the opportunity to 10 schools in Australia, so we put in our submission and video and from that our school was chosen.

"The idea was that they were piloting a financial literacy education plan that was simple but effective that children, parents and teachers could sustain as a skill for life."

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The idea is simple; each child has three jars - a splurge jar, a smile jar and a give jar - and picks three jobs to earn pocket money.

"It's about saving money and using money properly," teacher Brooke Chudleigh said.

"What they're saving for is the smile jar, so a goal that they work towards. The give jar is for giving to charity and the splurge jar is to treat themselves because they've worked so hard for their money."

While the Jam Jar Project is targeted at years three and four, the whole of Moree East Public School took part.

The project involved six lessons, starting at the end of last term, during which students learnt about money and wrote down their goals for saving and jobs they could do to earn money. They also had to identify jobs they could do around the house for love, because not everything is for money.

Among the students' smile jar goals were cameras, sneakers, and even cats.

To earn money, the students held a toy frenzy during the first week of this term, during which they sold their old toys, as well as cordial which they've also been selling every lunch time, and jelly cups.

"It was really successful," Ms Potter said.

"The idea is that this has a net benefit, so they had to use customer service skills, planning, organisation.

"It also makes them think about what they could do with their change."

One of the years three and four classes used their splurge jar to have a pizza party, while the other splurged on chips and gravy.

Between the two classes, they also managed to save $80 in their give jars, which they decided to donate to Moree Salvation Army.

"We picked the Salvos because we know how much the Salvos do in our community," Ms Chudleigh said.

"And we love their jumping castle."

During their graduation from the project on Friday, November 1, the students presented the $80 to Moree Salvation Army's Richard Simpson, who said it will go towards purchasing more prizes for their Friday night Kids Club.

At the graduation, held at Moree Community Library, each student in years three and four was presented with a certificate.

Unfortunately Scott Pape wasn't able to make it in person, but he sent a special video message to the students.

"I'm really proud of you for all the amazing things you've done," he said.

"Keep making great choices, bring it home and show your parents how it works.

"I'll be back next year to make sure it's working and that you're buying things you like and saving money as well. We're going to be taking this across the country and you are some of the guys who started it, so thank you very much."

At the end of the graduation, each student received three jars of their very own, which they then spent the morning decorating before taking them home to continue to save.

"This is not just a project for now, it's a project that helps you look after your money and save for your future," Ms Chudleigh told the students.

Moree East will be continuing the project next year.

For families interested in implementing this at home, the jam jar concept comes from Pape's latest book, The Barefoot Investor for Families: The only kids' money guide you'll ever need.