Grow Your Own Greens
A child's introduction to financial literacy
Liza Jane Sequeira
Financial illiteracy has lead to a continuous cycle of individuals making poor financial decisions and having it affect their lives in deeply personal ways. When issues of sickness, tragic accidents, and other unexpected life events arise, money (like it or not) is the first thought. Education is a pathway that could empower people to understand and practice financial concepts. Through this, they can uplift themselves and those around them. But, how can we take such a complex, serious, and (truthfully) intimidating topic and turn it into something simple, fun, and approachable?
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Finance is a large topic in it of itself. There are a variety of teachings that differ across education levels, socioeconomic status, religion, traditions, family values, and geographical areas. Honing in on a few universally applicable and crucial concepts was essential to the success of this project. Additionally, as financial literacy affects everyone, there was a constant question of the target audience this project was being designed for. Research suggests that by age 7, children have developed many of the basic concepts that relate to financial behaviors. We need to make sure these are the right concepts. But, how do you explain finance to a child?
Grow Your Own Greens is a children's book that uses a young girl's journey to growing and selling plants as an analogy for four crucial lessons in financial literacy: numeracy, risk diversification, compound interest, and inflation. "Greens" hints at the plants Jane grows, and also takes on the alternative meaning of money. By starting early, these lessons can help children develop healthy financial habits and attitudes towards money that will serve them well throughout their lives.