In the movie A Christmas Story (1983) – set in 1940’s Indiana – nine-year-old Ralphie sends away for a Little Orphan Annie Secret Society Decoder Pin, racing to the mailbox each day in anticipation of its arrival. Kids aren’t all that different today. The anticipation of receiving a treasure via the mail can be incredibly exciting.
The American Numismatic Association (ANA), a national nonprofit educational group dedicated to sharing the joys of collecting coins and related items, offers youngsters the opportunity for a similar experience through its Coins for A’s program.
Kids under 18 who earn three or more A’s in a marking period can receive a free world coin. A different coin can be earned each marking period the student receives three A’s. Home-schooled students also can participate. Coins can be earned from countries such as ancient Greece, South Africa, and even the Vatican.
The ANA recently enrolled its 1,000th participant in the program, sparking interest in coin collecting in youngsters throughout the country. But Coins for A’s also encourages kids to succeed in the classroom, and challenges them to learn more about the culture, heritage and history that has been struck into the coin arriving in their mailbox. There is no charge to participate. New participants may enroll for a free one-year membership to the ANA (available to non-members).
“I love this program,” says Juan Mateos, a junior collector and promising numismatist. “It’s made my coin collection even more extraordinary than I thought possible.”
Kids interested in enrolling in Coins for A’s should send a recent report card with three or more A’s to:
Rod Gillis, Education Director
American Numismatic Association
818 N. Cascade Avenue, Colorado Springs, CO 80903
or email [email protected]