MILWAUKEE, July 11, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- While the summer months spell sun and fun for families, the extended break from school also diminishes math and reading skills for children. All kids lose some math skills in the summer and some lose ground in their reading abilities too, according to the National Summer Learning Association*. Engaging children with educational activities, that also teach important lessons about money, can help keep math and reading skills sharp. The interactive, financial literacy website, themint.org, is a good place to start.

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Endorsed by the American Library Association as a Great Web Site for Kids, themint.org offers games, activities and useful information for kids, as well as meaningful content for parents. And teachers can find classroom tools and resources to begin planning lessons for the fall.

"Themint.org is a great way for kids to stay engaged in learning over the summer while having fun too," says Elizabeth Taylor, director specialty markets at Northwestern Mutual.  "Parents can pick up tips for teaching their kids important lessons about money, budgets, saving and spending that will go a long way to fostering good money habits right now and in the future."

The site provides age-appropriate financial lessons for kids, tweens, parents, and teachers on topics ranging from the basics of earning and saving to spending and giving. Themint.org makes it easy for parents to access a series of articles on timely topics, including 'how to' advice and practical pointers for talking to their children about money. For teachers who might be looking to get a head start on lesson planning for the next school year, note that the site offers resources for the classroom, which are optimized for interactive use on classroom smart boards. Teachers can also download a variety of lesson plan materials.

Themint.org also conducts quarterly online polls of visitors to the site. The polls generate engaging conversation by posing thought-provoking questions for parents and kids to discuss. The site includes a full archive of past polls.

* The effects of summer vacation on achievement test scores:  Review of Educational Research, 1996

About the Northwestern Mutual Foundation

The mission of the Northwestern Mutual Foundation – the largest corporate foundation in the state of Wisconsin – is to build strong, vibrant communities that serve as a legacy to future generations. The Foundation's giving is designed to create an impact on the communities where the company's employees and financial representatives live and work. In fiscal year 2012, the Foundation will contribute $16.7 million to nonprofit organizations across the country.

About Northwestern Mutual

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company – Milwaukee, WI (Northwestern Mutual) – among the "World's Most Admired" life insurance companies in 2012 according to FORTUNE® magazine – has helped clients achieve financial security for more than 155 years. As a mutual company with $1.2 trillion of life insurance protection in force, Northwestern Mutual has no shareholders. The company focuses solely and directly on its clients and seeks to deliver consistent and dependable value to them over time.  Northwestern Mutual and its subsidiaries offer a holistic approach to financial security solutions including: life insurancelong-term care insurancedisability insuranceannuities,investment products, and advisory products and services. Subsidiaries include Northwestern Mutual Investment Services, LLC, broker-dealer, registered investment adviser, member FINRA and SIPC; the Northwestern Mutual Wealth Management Company, limited purpose federal savings bank; and Northwestern Long Term Care Insurance Company; and Russell Investments.

Further information can be found at http://www.northwesternmutual.com.

SOURCE Northwestern Mutual Foundation