MONEYLESSONS

GREENFIELD — Wearing a big smile, Addison Brown opened her town for business Saturday morning.

As mayor of Kidsville, Addison was responsible for the ribbon cutting that officially launched a town operated by children.

During an event at Greenfield Banking Co. Saturday morning, kids went to work in Kidsville as newspaper reporters, dog caretaker and bankers. And 8-year-old Addison led the town as mayor.

The event, sponsored by the Greenfield Banking Co.’s Kids Club, aimed to teach young children about saving and sharing money early.

Area businesses and nonprofits came together to sponsor the event Saturday, and young participants spent the morning working and earning a paycheck, which they were able to cash in for toys at the end of the week. They also had the option to share their paychecks with the hospital foundation and Partners for Animal Welfare Society, Inc.

Mark Griffin, vice president loan officer at Greenfield Banking Co., helped plan the event as part of the bank’s Kids Club, a program that aims to teach children about saving money. After the program’s launch last year, organizers decided to plan an event to educate children about the three principles of finance: spending, saving and sharing.

The event coincides with Teach a Kid to Save Day, an annual awareness day sponsored by the American Bankers Association to educate children about the value of saving money, Griffin said.

Children between 3 and 12 were invited to participate in Kidsville Saturday, and a handful of businesses and nonprofits set up jobs for participants to do.

Addison’s job was to serve as mayor; kids who participated in the event filled out questionnaires about what they would do as mayor and why they would make a good leader for the town. Addison said she would visit sick people at the hospital and pick up trash around the city.

Stacy Brown, Addison’s mom, said she found the event while reading the newspaper and told her parents she wanted to attend. She even made a video she submitted with her questionnaire.

Her father, Daniel Brown, said even though Addison already saves money in her piggy bank, the event offered a good opportunity for children to learn more about money at a young age.

“You don’t see it being taught in school,” Daniel Brown said. “In this economy, it’s tough for kids to learn about saving.”

Addison spent the morning making official announcements for Kidsville, and at the end, she used her money to donate to the hospital and P.A.W.S. and to get herself a small toy.

Helping make Greenfield better is important to her, she said.

Grace O’Donnell, 11, served as editor at the Kidsville newspaper. She told her mom she wanted to participate in the event because she thought it would be fun to work a real job.

Her friend, Megan Griffin, 11, also worked at the paper. The pair decided to save their money until the end — their first paycheck could have paid for a small toy. But instead, they chose to donate some of the $12 they earned to P.A.W.S.

“Working isn’t as hard as I thought it would be,” Megan said.

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Samm Quinn is a reporter at the Greenfield Daily Reporter. She can be reached at 317-477-3275 or squinn@greenfieldreporter.com.