Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Financial Literacy: Promoting the knowledge: Mr. Sam Renick... (1)

Based upon available information, the U.S. Government has been doing a reasonably (but not well enough) good job by issuing key rules like the Financial and Economic Literacy Improvement Act and the Credit Card Holders Bill of Rights intended to help people to solve serious problems involving mostly credit cards and ultimately, a worrying lack of financial literacy.

Even though the Obama Administration is working on solving a serious financial crisis by applying new measures but facing in the meantime new problems involving the financial industry as well as critics as to the lack of financial education proposals, let's try to focus our comment on another equally important issue: What are private institutions and individuals doing in order to promote Financial Literacy?

A few days ago, while having a very enlightening conversation with Mr. Sam Renick (a fellow Linkedin member) about what needs to be done to continue promoting Financial Literacy particularly for kids (in order to teach them at an early age about their future "financial independence"), I invited him to share his beliefs as to the job he does as an educator involving the need -in my opinion- to make parents participate in a more serious effort: teach their children the reasons, value and significance of saving a dollar for their future...

In addition to quoting Mr. Renick's educational perspective, I had the opportunity to visit the website where he also talks about his job, mission and values.

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"It's a Habit! Company, Inc. (IACH) is a Los Angeles based micro enterprise formally founded in 2001 by financial education Innovator and social entrepreneur Sam X Renick, a.k.a Sam the Money Man. "During their 8 years of existence, IACH has earned a national reputation for developing and delivering dynamic, strategic family financial education programs and products that feature its main character, Sammy 'the get in habit' Rabbit. The company was chronicled in the February 2007 issu of Kiplinger Magazine wherein editor, Janet Bodnar, stated after witnessing and even, 'Sam and Sammy can whip a gym full of elementary school kinds into a frenzy of enthusiasm for saving money...'

"The IAHC story intially began in October 1998 with Sam's dream to help kids from every economic, cultural and geographic strata learn to save and read. After having a numerous adults share with him their regret for not having started to save or invest earlier in their lives, Sam wrote on napkins a rough draft of what eventually became his first book It's a Habit, Sammy Rabbit!

With assistance from his then Financial and Insurance Services partner Alonso Silva Jr. and Alonso's family Sam further developed and revised the story. A few years later in 2001, he teamed up with illustrator Juan 'The Honduran Express' Alvarado and former Disney graphic designer, Carlos Rodriguez and officially formed IAHC. The company published its first book, It's a Habit, Sammy Rabbitt! in October 2001 just after 9/11.

"That book was followed by a second book, Will Sammy Ride the World's First Space Coaster? In March 2003 now titled
Sammy's Big Dream! A six song music CD titled Get in the Habit! came in September 2003 and was followed in July 2006 by a 15 song music CD, Mission 1 Celebrate Saving!

"In 2004 the company began making live author and character performances at schools and other venues around the country including the National Book Festival in Washington DC. Since the author and character have actively toured promoting financial education and reading in six countries and thirty states to more than 250,000 students, parents and educators.

"In addition to publishing Sammy story books, work books, coloring books, music standard-based lesson plans, training guides and programs it also conducts train the trainer programs for teens and financial education organizations and educators.

"IAHC holds the unique distinction of having its products achieve recognition for use on three different levels:
  • Corporate - In November 2007, IAHC was honored with the California Jumpstart Coalition Leadership Award.
  • High School Trainer - In July 2007, teenagers from San Saba, Texas were awarded a national gold medal for their Sammy Rabbit Read and Save project with elementary School Students.
  • Educator - Notice has been formally received that in September 2009, a university educator will receive a national award for a financial education initiative featuring Sammy Rabbit products and programming.
"The company's motto: Changing children lives one habit and dime at a time!

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From this corner, I want to congratulate Mr. Sam Renick for a magnificent job in collaborating to educate kids in basic financial matters; it's a huge effort but Mr. Renick is clearly a truly a committed educator...

Finally, the following piece of visual information contributes to the need to raise more awareness among parents about the need to educate financially their children... the time to do this is now.

Image: Photobucket

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Home Loans said...

I like this step for promoting the knowledge in this field because many people like me face many problems in this way. Hope for the that Obama's program will work in the good way.

Mario P. Lopez said...

Thanks for your thoughts; it's a fact that the Obama Administration has a really tough job but as long as they choose the appropriate and timely measures, things should improve hopefully, sooner rather than later.