10 Years of Success in Financial Literacy

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For ten years now, the Economic Development Council for Manitoba Bilingual Municipalities (CDEM), in collaboration with Junior Achievement of Manitoba (JA Manitoba), has been offering financial literacy workshops for students in French-language and French immersion schools. 

Already present at the beginning of the project in January 2013, Joel Martine, Director of Youth Integration at CDEM, is delighted with the success of the workshops. “It all started with a desire to offer adapted training to help our young people in the community. We offered training to more than 25,000 young students in schools in ten years. 

Workshops on financial literacy and business development help youth understand concepts that will be important for their professional and community future, such as managing a budget, starting a business, marketing, or money. 

Diversified workshops and new partnerships

Initially intended for grades 5 to 12, CDEM’s workshops quickly diversified to meet the increasing demands of teachers, especially those in grades 3-4, and new partnerships were formed.  

For high school students, CDEM has developed a program with Caisse Financial Group. This new partnership has enabled CDEM to integrate real economic experts into its workshops. 

Joël Rondeau, General Manager of Caisse Financial Group: “Caisse Financial Group has been a proud partner of CDEM in financial literacy since 2013. We are particularly pleased to have developed, with CDEM, the ‘’Au courant de l’argent” program for students in grades 9  to 12 in French-language and immersion schools in Manitoba. The Caisse Financial Group employees were also delighted to volunteer to deliver this content to classrooms.  

Employés et bénévoles de la Caisse Financial Group employees and volunteers and CDEM at Collège Béliveau

“These programs are important to us. We believe in the fundamental importance of exposing young people to financial concepts, in order to prepare them for financial success in the future.” 

CDEM also offered the ‘’Les contes qui comptent’’ program for students from kindergarten to grade 3, again with a new partner: “We developed youth stories with Apprentissage Illimité. More than 300 students learned about financial literacy through the adventures of characters like Paul, Suzanne, Maminata and others.” 

As for students, CDEM has developed the Entrepreneurship Club at St. Boniface University for them. “The goal is to train young people to lead training with us in schools,” explains Joel Martine. We also offer workshops during the Festival du Voyageur, related to the fur trade. 

“Over the past ten years, we have come a long way, with our partners, to offer the best possible services to the Francophone community. Every year there are more and more requests, I think it’s  sign that we are doing a good job! (laughs)” 

With the teachers

Joel Martine emphasizes the importance of the link between workshops and educational programs in the Province. “Our workshops allow students to work on different concepts in the classroom, while using their knowledge of mathematics, literacy and social studies.” 

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has generated a positive effect, that of “reaching more students simultaneously, as well as more distant schools, such as those in northern Manitoba,” thanks to virtual presentations, says Joel Martine. 

For CDEM as well as for JA Manitoba, the results of the last 10 years are positive in every way. “The important education our two organizations have provided to Francophone and Francophile students has enriched the understanding of financial literacy and entrepreneurship among more than 25,000 young people! 

“We look forward to continuing this partnership and expanding our reach to even more students across Manitoba,” said Greg Leipsic, President and CEO of JA Manitoba. Clearly, CDEM’s financial literacy workshops still have many years ahead of them. 

 Youth Workshops Registrations