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Philippines' Department of Education Partners with Prudential to Bring Cha-Ching Money-Smart Kids to Public Schools

2012-04-23 17:05 967

Cha-Ching gains international recognition in children's financial literacy

HONG KONG, April 23, 2012 /PRNewswire-Asia/ --

"We wanna earn, save, spend and donate; To open up a world of possibilities" -- from lyrics sung by the animated band, Cha-Ching.

Developed by Prudential Corporation Asia ("Prudential") and launched in September 2011, Cha-Ching Money-Smart Kids ("Cha-Ching") is the first integrated, multi-country, multi-platform financial education programme in Asia following the global financial crisis, when financial literacy became a more significant concern for families and governments. The programme reached a new milestone on 16 April 2012, with Prudential's operation in the Philippines, Pru Life UK, partnering with the country's Department of Education (DepEd) to make Cha-Ching part of the public primary school curriculum.

Since its launch, Cha-Ching has gained international recognition as an exemplary programme for promoting effective financial literacy in the communities it serves, in terms of the depth and breadth of its achievements. The United States-based non-profit Institute for Financial Literacy awarded Cha-Ching the 'Education Program of the Year' in the General Children's Category at the Excellence in Financial Literacy Education (EIFLE) Awards held on 18 April 2012. The highly-acclaimed EIFLE Awards acknowledge innovation, dedication and commitment of individuals and organisations that support financial literacy education worldwide. In Asia, Cha-Ching earned the 'Certificate of Excellence' in the CSR category at The Campaign PR Awards, held in Hong Kong on 30 March 2012.

Cha-Ching was developed as a corporate social responsibility initiative for children aged 7 to 12 using a unique musical edutainment approach. The series of ten three-minute animated "music videos" -- with sing-a-long subtitles -- aims to teach children about four key money management concepts, Earn, Save, Spend and Donate, through the Cha-Ching band of six animated characters, each with a relatable personality and a different approach to money management. The programme was launched in seven Asian countries in partnership with the number one kids' channel in Asia, Cartoon Network, reaching more than 4.5 million households.

The Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) signed with the DepEd of the Philippines further strengthens Cha-Ching's reach in Asia. The programme will be piloted in two primary schools in Taguig City and Tagaytay City of the Philippines initially running for two years. This programme falls under the Adopt-a-School Program of the DepEd. The agreement was signed by Education Secretary Br. Armin A. Luistro FSC and Pru Life UK President and CEO Antonio Manuel De Rosas.

According to independent research commissioned by Prudential, about 95 per cent of Asian parents (98 per cent in the Philippines) believe their children should learn money management skills, and only 13 per cent (19 per cent in the Philippines) think their children have adequate money management skills. Prudential sought to address these needs in Asia with the creation of the Cha-Ching programme.

An interactive Cha-Ching website (www.cha-ching.com) supports the programme with downloadable music videos, online games, mobile applications and at-home activities, allowing parents and educators to engage with children while teaching them about money management in a fun and innovative way. Cha-Ching also has a presence on social media such as Facebook with some 25,000 'fans', and YouTube where the music videos have had more than 250,000 views.

Prudential has also developed partnerships with schools and NGOs in the region, with nearly a thousand children participating in Cha-Ching themed activities at pilot school events held during the early launch phase, with more planned for 2012.

"Prudential strongly believes in doing well by doing good. We have been hearing from parents and governments in Asia that there is a lack of educational tools to teach children about money management. We are glad to see that Cha-Ching has been very popular with both parents and children, and is helping bridge this gap in Asia. The Agreement with the Department of Education of the Philippines is an important partnership for us, in not only helping to educate more children in Asia, but also proving to us that educators in Asia recognise Cha-Ching as a valuable resource for children. We plan to further enhance the offerings of Cha-Ching to cope with the increasing demand for these financial education tools in local languages," said Barry Stowe, Chief Executive of Prudential Corporation Asia.

Notes to Editors

About Cha-Ching

Produced in cooperation with the Cartoon Network, the leading kids' channel in Asia Pacific and with the expertise of Dr. Alice Wilder, an expert in educational and child psychology, ­Cha-Ching takes an engaging and age-appropriate musical narrative approach to teach children about four key fundamental money-management concepts -- earn, save, spend and donate.

Cha-Ching addresses findings by Oracle Value Added in its June 2011 survey which shows that parents need to educate their children on money-management using fun, interesting and catchy tools. It was rolled-out in seven Prudential markets across Asia: Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and the Philippines. More details of the survey are available upon request.

Cha-Ching is a series of 10 three-minute animated television musical episodes for kids aged seven -- 12 years old that were produced by and aired over the Cartoon Network. It features six Cha-Ching band members with different money-spending habits. Prudence is a meticulous money-saver who was taught by her parents to save at an early age; Bobby doesn't keep track of where his earnings go and often spends all of his money on useless things; Justin is the group's resident businessman, always thinking of different ways of earning through entrepreneurship; Charity is generous and is always on the lookout for ways to help those in need; Zul is sensible -- he knows he needs to learn how to save to achieve his race car driver dreams; and shopaholic Pepper is the one the entire group looks out for as she constantly spends her money on things she cannot afford.

Other elements of the program include an interactive website (www.cha-ching.com) with games and applications featuring real-life money management scenarios, online resources and activity plans which parents and teachers alike can work through with children and a mobile application for iTouch, iPhone and iPad users that helps children track their money cycle. To date, the website has received more than 27 million page views, with visitors spending an average of 15 minutes on the site.

About Prudential Corporation Asia

Prudential Corporation Asia comprises the life insurance, asset management and consumer finance operations of Prudential plc in Asia. Our businesses span 13 markets, covering Mainland China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and the United Arab Emirates.

Prudential facilitates numerous corporate responsibility initiatives in Asia that build value and contribute to the communities across the region. As Prudential's presence across Asia grows, the company continues to engage with its communities through programme that go beyond its business, particularly focusing on the area of financial literacy.

Most notably, Prudential facilitates financial literacy workshops in China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam for young, working-age women. Since 2004 over 30,000 women have participated in the programme. In addition, Prudential also partners with Government and regulators in China to facilitate an insurance education curriculum for public high schools in target cities across the country. Over 26,000 students have participated in the programme since 2007.

For further information: www.prudentialcorporation-asia.com.

Source: Prudential Corporation Asia
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