The Youth Museum of Southern West Virginia is hosting a new exhibition, “Moneyville,” for children to learn about money and finance in a unique but entertaining way.

“Many of us just don’t have the financial skills that we need and this exhibit really uses the subject of money to build math skills and economic expertise in a fun, immersive setting,” said Leslie Gray Baker, director of operations at the Exhibition Coal Mine Complex.

“Moneyville” is a colorful city that includes a bank, a store, an anti-counterfeiting lab, a stock market and a shipping dock.

Visitors can create their own “money,” explore anti-counterfeiting measures and even see what $1 million looks like.

“West Virginia’s state treasurer, John Perdue, has taken a real interest in ‘Moneyville’ and will be coming to Beckley later in the month to see the exhibit and officially open a special part of the display that was created just for the state treasurer’s office,” Baker said.

She said when the treasurer’s office heard about “Moneyville,” they not only agreed to help with funding, but also wanted to create a lasting hands-on component that would stay in West Virginia long after the exhibit has moved.

This component highlights West Virginia’s SMART 529 College Savings Program, and when “Moneyville” closes in September, the special component will move to the treasurer’s office in Charleston.

Perdue said, “Financial education has always been a passion of mine and I truly believe it is never too early to start learning to make sound financial decisions. I am excited to see a great exhibition like ‘Moneyville’ here in southern West Virginia. It’s a great opportunity for our kids to have fun and learn a great lesson. I couldn’t be more proud to be a part of this program.”

“Moneyville” was funded in part by the West Virginia Commission on the Arts, the West Virginia Financial Education Foundation and City National Bank. The exhibit was made possible by support from the National Science Foundation, the James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation and The NASDAQ Stock Market Educational Foundation Inc. It was created and is toured by the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry.

The Exhibition Coal Mine and the Youth Museum are in New River Park.

Hours of operation are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily and the Youth Museum is open year-round.

For more information on rates and tours, visit www.beckley.org or call 304-256-1747 or 304-252-3730.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

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