Tom Henske, Total Cents to Bring Financial Literacy for Kids to The Westport Library

Mon, Mar 20, 2023
EJ Crawford
Clockwise from top left: Kathy Soderholm, Tom Henske, Caroline Barney, and John Lanza

It’s an old adage, that many high school-age students can do advanced trigonometry but not balance a checkbook.

Tom Henske is out to change that.

On Sunday, March 26, Henske, Westport resident and a leader in the financial industry for nearly three decades, will bring his Total Cents program to the Library’s Trefz Forum for a talk, followed by a panel discussion with fellow experts. The goal: to help parents, grandparents, and guardians get comfortable with teaching their kids about money and the importance of finances.

The event, Raising Financially Savvy Kids with Tom Henske, will begin at 2 pm in the Library’s Trefz Forum. The event is free; registration is encouraged.

“It's fitting that The Westport Library jumped at the chance to bring financial literacy to the forefront of parents in our community,” said Henske. “Everyone sees the clear value and importance of developing good financial habits in our children. It's time for parents to take ownership of this part of their child's development, and that effort is going to start on March 26.

“My hope is that Westport becomes the epicenter for teaching parents how to talk to their kids about money, and in doing that, we will change the way our entire country addresses this important topic.”

Joining Henske in conversation will be Caroline Barney, author, inspirational speaker, and parent of two Staples High School students; John Lanza, author of The Art of Allowance and an expert of youth financial literacy; and Kathy Soderholm, former Wilton High School personal finance teacher and founder of The Good Bookkeeper, a full-service bookkeeping company specializing in nonprofit organizations.

[Related: See the Raising Financially Savvy Kids event listing for full bios on all the panelists.]

Henske's efforts with Total Cents include a book, It Makes Total Cents: 12 Conversations to Change Your Child’s Financial Future, published in 2022, and a podcast he developed in collaboration with the Library. Total Cents is also active on TikTok, with videos produced in collaboration with Total Cents interns from Staples High School.

“Tom’s knowledge and expertise is exceeded only by his passion for finance and teaching kids how to be responsible stewards of their own futures,” said Westport Library Executive Director Bill Harmer. “Add that up and you have a session that promises to be informative, engaging, and fun. Plus, Tom brings with him an all-star panel well-versed on communicating to parents and with kids from the youngest ages. You won’t want to miss this event.”

Event information:

Raising Financially Savvy Kids with Tom Henske
Sunday, March 26, 2 pm
The Westport Library (20 Jesup Road)
Register here.

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