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Daily CSR
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Teaching Kids Financial Discipline Through Iconic Sesame Street Characters


Sesame Workshop brings localised financial training for children across the globe.

Source: dodlive.mil; (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chris Brown/Released)
Source: dodlive.mil; (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Chris Brown/Released)
Dailycsr.com – 28 June 2019 – “Elmo, Cookie Monster and Big Bird” could provide you financial tips as the iconic characters of Sesame Street have come alive in a programme that is designed to make kids all around the world financially smart.
The “Sesame Workshop” created the said programme along with the “MetLife Foundation” which is an attempt to make “money seem” “a little less boring” while at the same time making it “more meaningful” to the kids through “videos, comics, games and activities”.
The programme is titles as “Dream, Save, Do” which was started back in 2013 and spread across nine countries and “75 million kids” including “Bangladesh, Egypt and China”. The programme is now getting into the next phase wherein it has targeted three countries “Brazil, Mexico and Japan”. In this phase, it has earmarked “$3 million” for a period of two years whereby turning its focus on “parents this time”. Through this initiative, the programme will guide the parents about the ways of dealing with their kids in money matters, whereby helping the children “set goals, and give them independence for decision-making”.
In the words of the “chief development officer” ay Sesame Workshop, Sheila Kelly:
“It’s about financial empowerment, but it’s also about so much more. 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.”
The age group for the programme ranges from “three to nine”, as a result, adult financial scenarios are avoided and a basic ground is created. The Assistant Vice President of MetLife Foundation, April Hawkins, said:
Instead you’re going to get the basics: “It might be something as simple as the fact that they want a bike. 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.”
Hawkins also added that controlling impulse and “self-regulation” is equally important, which is taught through the character of Cookie Monster, famous for not being able to “resist devouring sweets”. Up till now, the programme has managed to create an impact; for example in China, kids undertaking this programme “did 17% better on measures like saving more, understanding the need for planning, and having higher aspirations”. Similarly, in Brazil, “41% of parents reported having more money conversations with their kids after the program, and 66% more parents said their child had started saving”.
However, the challenge lies in finding local solution to the problem as communicating with the kids of Bangladeshi slums needs to be different than that of the well-off kids of urban Japan. In order to address the issue, Sesame has “partnered with local organizations” to create “culture-specific content”.
The Vice President of Content Research at Sesame Workshop, Jennifer Kotler said:
“Different countries came up with different initiatives. In Bangladesh, older children mentored younger kids. In rural India, parents and children often went through the program together. And in Brazil, it was a usually a school-based intervention.”
The information gathered from these initiatives goes into a common platform termed as “library” which is accessible to each country and they are free to “adapt as needed”. In fact, it has made an “international presence” and has won “MacArthur Foundation $100 million grant” for partnering with “the International Rescue Committee”, whereby the aim is to support refugee children in “Syria, Iraq, Lebanon and Jordan”.