Financial literacy isn’t just for adults, according to author Chelsea Addison. Her book “Savannah’s Savings Jar” tells the fictional story of a 10-year-old that learns an important lesson about how and why it’s important to save money. Addison learned these lessons as a youngster and felt the need to share them in the form of an easy to read children’s book.
“Growing up, my mom talked to my sister and I about stocks, bonds, saving, and spending wisely,” Addison said. “These conversations and experiences have had a lasting impact on my financial habits as an adult. It is my hope that through this book, students will be inspired to take control of their financial futures and develop the necessary skills to build strong financial foundations much like the one my mom helped me build.
“Savannah’s Savings jar” is illustrated by Laura Daogaru and is available anywhere books are sold.
The Atlanta Voice: What led you to writing this book? Any personal experience you’d like to share?
Chelsea “SARAE” ADDISON: As a former second-grade teacher in St. Louis Public Schools, I was inspired to write Savannah’s Savings Jar by my desire to equip my students with the tools to use money effectively, beyond just counting it. I felt a deep sense of responsibility to teach financial literacy to young students in a fun and relatable way.
AV: Having not read the book yet, what would I, a father of an 8-year-old son, be buying this book for? Meaning, what would my son potentially learn from this story?
CA: As a teacher, I created Savannah’s Savings Jar to be a valuable tool for parents to help teach their children about financial literacy. Throughout the story, I have integrated comprehension questions that are designed to gauge your child’s understanding of the story and financial concepts presented, such as budgeting, entrepreneurship, and the importance of saving and spending money wisely. By understanding how financial decisions made today can impact future financial plans and goals, children can learn valuable lessons that will help them throughout their lives.
To make things even easier, the story includes bolded terms that are defined in the glossary at the back of the book. Parents can use this glossary to help explain financial concepts to their children as they read together. My hope is that this book will not only be an enjoyable read for children, but also a valuable tool for parents to help teach their children about financial literacy.
AV: In your opinion why is learning financial literacy early in life important, particularly for Black children?
CA: As a researcher in the field of financial literacy and a former elementary school teacher, I strongly believe that teaching financial literacy early in life is crucial for all children, but especially for Black children. My ongoing PhD research focuses on building financial capability in elementary school students, which refers to the practical application of financial knowledge.
Learning financial literacy early can help Black children develop the skills and knowledge they need to manage money effectively, save for the future, and build wealth over time. It can also help them understand and overcome historical barriers to wealth accumulation, recognize and protect themselves against predatory financial practices, and build generational wealth that can benefit their families for years to come.
Through my children’s books that teach financial literacy, my research on financial capability, and the work of other educators and advocates, we can ensure that Black children have the tools they need to build a secure financial future.
AV: Can adults learn a few things about financial literacy while reading the book along with their child/children?
CA: As the author of Savannah’s Savings Jar, I can confidently say that reading a financial literacy book with your child can be a great opportunity for adults to refresh their understanding of financial concepts and learn new strategies for managing money.
In my experience, many parents have told me that as they read Savannah’s Savings Jar with their children, they too learned valuable lessons about budgeting, saving, and investing. It serves as a friendly reminder and can help parents gain a fresh perspective on these important topics.
Furthermore, parents have also shared how these books have helped them simplify tough conversations about money with their children. By engaging in open and honest discussions about money, parents can model responsible financial behavior and build a strong foundation for their child’s future financial success.
AV: Where can people interested in buying the book find it?
CA: You can find “Savannah’s Savings Jar” at www.addwinpm.com, where you can order an autographed copy and sign up for notifications about future books. You can purchase the book as a gift or for your child and help them build good financial habits. Bulk orders are also available for districts, schools, banks, organizations by emailing email@example.com.
AV: What advice would you give your younger self about saving money?
CA: I would emphasize the importance of making saving a habit, no matter how small the amount. I would also suggest investing money wisely to help grow wealth over time, being mindful of spending choices, and collaborating with others to learn from their experiences and practice group economics.
AV: Did you always want to write a book? Have you written any other books?
CA: Absolutely! From a very young age, I knew that I wanted to write a book and become an author. I vividly remember sitting on the carpet in my third grade class at Warren T. Jackson Elementary School and feeling inspired by the stories I read. I knew right then that one day I would create a book that could inspire others just as much as the books I had read inspired me. As I grew older, this passion for writing met a need that allowed me to serve my community and create a resource for children and families to have relatable conversations about money.
Savannah’s Savings Jar is my first published book and I’m incredibly proud of it. Through this book, I have encouraged children and families to develop healthy financial habits, make informed decisions, and work together towards a brighter financial future. While it’s my first book, it certainly won’t be my last. My next book Ivan and India Make an Investment will be published later this year! I’m excited to continue writing and creating stories that inspire, educate, and entertain readers of all ages.