CSBG Spotlight: It’s Never Too Early to Learn about Financial Literacy – Especially When Your First Teacher is a “Dime A Saur”

— by Rae Tamblyn, Research Assistant —

Western Carolina Community Action (WCCA) believes it’s never too early to teach financial literacy classes. Just ask any of the 276 first graders and 85 middle school students in North Carolina who increased their money savvy skills this year. The first graders will tell you about “Dime A Saurus,” a dinosaur who teaches students the importance of distinguishing between “wants” and “needs.”

 DIME at Brev Academy and TC Henderson Jan 2013 007

The added touch of a fun character delights the students as “Dime A Saurus” takes them through exercises, examples, and even a cheer to emphasize the lesson.

DIME at BE and PFE - jan 2013 004

Thanks to “Dime A Saurus”, an expanded partnership with United Way, and the CSBG dollars as seed money to start the program and supportive funding throughout the program, by the time they reach middle school, these students demonstrate an understanding of the difference between “wants” and “needs” – and have the skills to save and plan for the future.  After success with first grade elementary students and positive responses from the community and schools, “Dime A Saurus” and WCCA  took on middle school,  sending a staff member to follow up with sixth graders who had already met “Dime A Saurus.”

WCCA’s goal is to prepare elementary and middle schoolers  to achieve self-sufficiency by setting “a solid groundwork in money management now.” Further demonstrating their  commitment to financial literacy in all stages of life,  WCCA just secured a collaborate grant to add classes on financial literacy, which would be open to adults, including Head Start teachers and parents and agency self-sufficiency clients .

Check out Dime A Saurus’ facebook page or head over to WCCA’s facebook page for their two cents on self-sufficiency and other actions they are taking to address barriers to self-sufficiency in their service area.

Source: IS12 Survey, Section D