Talking to your kids about money can be hard. Sometimes it's a struggle to make the conversation seem fun. Or maybe we don't know how to get them to understand why talking about money is important. This is especially true with young kids. But it's incredibly important to talk to young kids about financial literacy. That's why the Sesame Workshop and the MetLife Foundation came together to teach kids about money. So now, Elmo, Big Bird and Cookie Monster are teaching young kids about the importance of financial literacy.
In the global program, "Dream, Save, Do," children are learning the basics of financial literacy. Beginning 2013, nine countries like India, Brazil, Mexico, and Japan have begun to learn the basics about money and finances. Since its launch, Dream, Save, Do has reached more than 140 million children and their families in those countries.
“Sometimes there are gaps in what kids know about money, so we are teaching children tools that they will need to be successful in life,” chief development officer for Sesame Workshop, Sheila Kelly, tells Forbes.
Targeted to kids between the ages of three and nine, Dream, Save, Do is teaching kids some of the most basic money skills they'll need. It gets down on their level with the “I want it. How do I get it?” mindset that most kids those ages focus on. Additionally, there is an emphasis focusing on women and girls, because it's a well known fact that when women are given the chance, they can help get their families out of poverty. And this is doubly true in lesser developed countries like Bangladesh or Mexico.
And what exactly are kids learning? Elmo, who is likely the most popular character from Sesame Street, learns from his mom and dad the difference between wants and needs. “If you are making some money from allowances or chores, then if you put a portion of that into a piggy bank, that will grow over time – and eventually you’ll have the money to buy that bike,” MetLife Foundation assistant VP April Hawkins tells Forbes.
Going along the discussion of centering girls in financial literacy conversations, "An international cast of female Muppets—Bel from Brazil, Chamki from India, Lola from Mexico, and Lily from China—keeps girls at the center of the story…and their families’ financial plans," per the Sesame Workshop website.
According to Forbes, the program is working. Kids in China who went through the program are doing 17 percent better at things like saving their money. And in Brazil, 41 percent of parents whose kids went through the program are talking more with their kids about money.
“It’s about financial empowerment, but it’s also about so much more,” Kelly says. Programs like Dream, Save, Do give kids the tools they need to succeed in a place where they otherwise wouldn't.