Sunday, February 13, 2011

Financial Literacy Advocates... Mr. Sam Renick

After starting to blog about Financial Literacy and being gradually involved in researching, studying and realizing how important and deep this concept is in terms of educating not only adults but teenagers and kids about money, getting also familiar with advocates in this field and what they are doing in achieving this goal, has been a particularly enlightening experience.

After being also able to discuss with some of those advocates about concrete views as to the most practical way to spread a still urgently needed concept, it's also been a quite pleasant experience to know Mr. Sam Renick and his educational concept "Changing Children's Lives One Dime at a Time".

Even though the U.S. Government, financial institutions and schools are carrying out an increasingly more solid effort in spreading financial literacy, since there are teenagers and college students who still believe that it is a "boring assignment" to learn, it is my opinion that the financial industry and many of those schools couldn't be doing a more committed effort in educating and making teenagers aware about the critical importance of financial literacy.

Based on this frame of reference, I also think that financial advocates should be playing a more prominent role in helping parents to educate not only teenagers but kids about the importance of money in their lives; in this regard, Mr. Sam Renick becomes a key advocate given his personal commitment by focusing on educating children.

Thinking about what a define as a magnificent job he's doing, I invited him in this opportunity as a guest blogger to introduce himself...

Welcome Sam!

Sammy, Author, Social Entrepreneur, Founder It's a Habit! Job - Background - Mission

10 years ago I founded "It's a Habit" to publish books and music that would help share smart money habits with families, especially kids. We started by creating a children storybook and character titled "It's a Habit, Sammy Rabbit!" Since then, we made more books, music, coloring books, activity books and training guides. We also started doing live author and character appearances. The appearances have taken us to 7 countries and 35 where we have read and sang stories about smart money habits to over 250,000 people. Our tag line for our mission is changing children's lives one dime at a time!

What Motivates Me

I feel this is my purpose in life and why I am on earth. I was lucky as a child. My father, mother and grandmother were great role models. My father talked to me a lot about the importance of smart money habits. That is my primary source of motivation. Colleagues, kids, parents, sponsors and champions have been an additional source of inspiration. It has been an extraordinary difficult change. We have faced all the predictable challenges startups and micro enterprises encounter plus we have had to navigate through a national tragedy and the worst economy since the depression.

How does Sammy encourages kids to learn about money?

First, Sammy is warm and lovable. That makes him approachable for both kids and parents. This is important, especially to reach people who are not normally drawn to financial education. Sammy most uses stories and songs plus a few other tools to carry his messages on smart money habits to families. Some of his messages are: saving is a great habit, from every dollar save a dime, saving makes me strong, don't spend more than you make, debt stinks, etc. Having a variety of tools helps keep messages fresh and gives us an opportunity to reach individuals who have different learning styles. We also make personal appearances. At personal appearances we use skits to reach audiences and share ideas on reading, writing, choice making and leadership in addition to money.

What achievements have we accomplished?

We have lots of great accomplishments that include having It's a Habit, Sammy Rabbit! being named children book of the year by the Institute of Financial Literacy; winning the California Jumpstart Coalition leadership award of outstanding financial education; and being inducted onto the Loyola Marymount University Wall of Honor for Entrepreneurship. Additionally, we have had several other organizations and individuals garner awards using our tools including the prestigious National Extension of Family Consumer Sciences Dean Don Felker Management Award for outstanding financial education.

Have some comment? Feel free to share...
Financial Culture / Financial Literacy ©