Going Back to the Beginning (of my journey)
It was almost two years ago to the day when I first read Lolita's Rainy Day to students at Martin Luther King, Jr. Charter School of Excellence (MLKCSE) as part of my project plan. This year, Tuesday, February 28 happened to be America Saves Week 2017: Savings Focus Day when I returned to MLKCSE to read my book to 2nd grade students.
Raising awareness of earning and saving money is the first step in introducing financial literacy to children. Saving for a rainy day is part of preparing for the future, as well as the unexpected. As one student said, "My mother needs to have a rainy day bank account so she can have money when her car breaks down." As part of the event, I promoted earning money and good savings behavior. The children enjoyed learning of what the financial term, "interest" means. After reading Lolita's Rainy Day to the students, we had a group discussion and the children had many interesting (and some funny) questions for me. One student suggested that I write another book and title it, "Lolita Sunny Day," (when Lolita has lots of money in the bank).
I encouraged the children to take responsibilities at home by asking their parents for household chores, but not expect to be paid each time. From the beginning to the end of the event, I emphasized to them that, "Every penny counts!" The children were thrilled that I donated two copies of Lolita's Rainy Day to the school library for them to borrow and take home to share with their parents.
A special thank you to the brilliant participating students and their teachers, Ms. Goodman and Ms. Thibodeau, as well as to the Executive Director, Alan Katz, who happens to be a very dear friend of mine.
(Photos taken by Emma Santiago Ford)