Insights: Southern Ohio & Kentucky | Community | Fall 2017

Accounting for Kids teaches the value of financial literacy

Crystal Faulkner, President and Founder, Accounting for Kids
By Holly Hammersmith

Just one year after launching an accounting firm with her husband, Tom Cooney, Crystal Faulkner saw another opportunity to make a difference in her Cincinnati community. In 2000, she created Accounting for Kids (AFK) Inc., a nonprofit focused on teaching children basic financial concepts such as saving and investing.

“We think it’s critical for young people to understand the importance of finance,” says Faulkner, CPA, a CPA and Cincinnati regional market leader at MCM CPAs & Advisors, and president and founder of AFK. “It’s not just about teaching children how to budget a checkbook. It is showing them that if they work hard in school – and they go to school – that their lives are in their own hands.”

What Accounting for Kids does

Each fall, Accounting for Kids hosts its annual AFK day, at which volunteer business professionals facilitate interactive financial education activities with children, primarily in grades four through six, and then join them for a pizza lunch.

Volunteers do not need to work in financial roles or have a background in finance, Faulkner says. “We have to have five to six volunteers per classroom,” she says. “Our volunteers talk about their jobs, how they make money and the value of money.” Today, more than 130 classrooms throughout the Cincinnati region participate in the event.

How it helps

AFK aims to help at-risk youth who may lack financial mentors in their lives, Faulkner says. In addition to teaching financial skills in the classroom, the organization’s volunteers provide one-on-one mentoring and tutoring for children in need of positive encouragement and support and help them learn to make good choices.

“Our goal is to put hope and dreams in their minds,” she says. “A lot of these kids never had anyone in their lives who attended college.” Accounting for Kids relies on donations to purchase educational materials and food, and to help with advertising costs and fund future activities. Huntington has been a presenting sponsor of AFK since 2000.

About the organization

Name:  Accounting for Kids
City:  Cincinnati, Ohio
Phone:  (513) 768-6796
Mission:  To introduce financial concepts to children in a fun and interactive manner and to encourage financial and business professionals to become tutors and mentors to disadvantaged children.

How you can help

Accounting for Kids requires more than 800 financial volunteers for its November 15, 2017 event. Call (513) 768-6796 to get involved, or to learn more about financial mentoring and volunteering opportunities.