Community Partners Help Teach Financial Literacy During Summer Camp


The City of Gainesville Parks, Recreation and Cultural Affairs Department (PRCA) is proud to announce its collaboration with Peaceful Paths and Community Bank & Trust of Florida. The partnership has served the middle school aged participants of Foundations Academy, a teen summer camp that took place at T.B. McPherson Center, 1717 SE 15th St.

Utilizing the Peaceful Paths’ Financial Literacy Program and tools from Community Bank & Trust of Florida, the campers were presented with an array of topics each week, such as Needs vs. Wants, What is Banking?, Budgeting and more. Collectively, the acronym “T.E.E.N.  L.I.F.E.” was created to represent the goals of the program.  T.E.E.N. L.I.F.E. translates to Teaching Economic Empowerment Now, Live Independently and Financially Empowered.  

Throughout the summer, staff from Peaceful Paths and Community Bank & Trust shared their knowledge with two groups of campers. To make this a real-life learning opportunity, campers were able to earn “camp bucks” from staff for displaying good behavior and character throughout the week.  Each Thursday, campers had the opportunity to save their money and deposit it into a “T.E.E.N  L.I.F.E.” bank by filling out deposit slips and completing bank ledger. Campers could also choose to spend it in the T.E.E.N. L.I.F.E. store. The store had a tiered pricing system that related to the value of the camp bucks maximum that varied and was allowed for each week. Campers also had the opportunity to be “hired” to perform a number of jobs each week to help with the banking and store processes; they were able to earn additional “camp bucks” for the week. Job assignments were offered to each camper in rotation so they all had access to the same opportunities.

As the end of summer camp nears, the two groups are steadily competing to be selected as the top saver group and three individuals will be awarded for having saved the most during camp. Savers will have a chance to win a special prize at the end of the program and the top group will be awarded  bonus dollars towards their party. Each group is being provided a budget to plan an end of summer party for the other group.

PRCA , Peaceful Paths and Community Bank & Trust of Florida have all been heavily involved in these processes.  The program’s goal has been to teach youth how to make the best decisions with their money and learn life skills that they will carry into the future.

For information, please contact please contact Ben Dillard, recreation supervisor, at, or 352-393-8192. For media inquiries and interviews, please contact John Weber, interim recreation manager, at or 352-393-8526.