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Kids Learn How to Earn, Save, and Give to Others

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Every fall, CHP’s Wendy Schleich, a senior resident services coordinator for several CHP-owned and managed properties in Virginia’s New River Valley, leads a kid-focused financial fitness activity at Linden Green Apartments in Christiansburg.  Each child in Linden Green’s after-school program is responsible for completing specific chores in their apartment community such as taking out trash, collecting items to be recycled, sweeping breezeways, or helping clean the community center in order to earn what Schleich calls “Chore Bucks.” 

After each youth finishes their assigned tasks they are awarded paper play money, which the children are then responsible for holding on to for future “purchases” at Linden Green’s annual holiday party. There, the children are free to “shop” for a friend or family member from a selection of gifts donated by Good Shepherd Baptist Church, Trinity Baptist Church, Grace Life Church, and CHP employees. The children pull numbers out of a hat to determine who gets to go shopping first, with the understanding that they must use their Chore Bucks to buy a gift for someone else.  After making their purchases, the kids learn to wrap the gifts and help each other label them. 

According to Schleich, “Chore Bucks is a popular program among the children,” and has been very effective in teaching children how to earn, save, and spend thoughtfully. “This activity really gives them a sense of what it means to work for their money, keep track of it, and make smart spending choices. And because they are shopping for someone beside themselves, they are learning to think about the needs of others.”

CHP works with local partners to provide resident services to children and adults at over 120 affordable rental communities it owns and manages, including Linden Green. The organization concentrates its programming on areas of skill development such as financial stability, education, health, and social and environmental stewardship, to help low-income individuals and families overcome obstacles around commonly faced issues such as money management, illiteracy, poor health, and lack of job skills. 

“Our resident services are a critically important part of neighborhood development at CHP,” explained CHP Regional Resident Services Coordinator Tiffany Slusher. “These programs helps make our neighborhoods safer, higher quality places to live and provides residents with the skills they need to be successful. We are committed to providing these services because they support the long-term viability of neighborhoods and promote positive, successful resident and community development.”