Wake libraries will teach kids financial basics with help from PNC grant

sbarr@newsobserver.comNovember 12, 2013 

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Christy Fisher, a librarian in the Wake County system, helps Shanique Keyes, left, and Teneasia Dunn decorate money jars for spending, saving and sharing on Tuesday. Children from Crosby Head Start took part in the program at the Cameron Village Library in Raleigh.

CHUCK LIDDY — cliddy@newsobserver.com Buy Photo

— Wake County Public Libraries will offer children’s programs that incorporate basic financial education lessons through a grant from the PNC Foundation.

The two-year, $125,000 grant will support story times and other events geared toward children up to age 5, beginning in January at the system’s six regional libraries and its bookmobile.

The program will emphasize the concepts of sharing, saving and spending based on a curriculum developed by Sesame Workshop, the nonprofit organization behind the television program Sesame Street. Parents also will receive information about explaining financial basics to their children.

“We’ve realized how important it is to teach children at the earliest possible age,” said Ann Burlingame, deputy director of Wake libraries.

The grant – the largest the library has received for programming – will allow Wake libraries to add more books that emphasize financial lessons, purchase props for children’s activities and train staff.

Burlingame expects the program to reach about 40,000 children during the two-year time period.

At a kickoff event Tuesday at Cameron Village Regional Library, a room of toddlers and preschoolers listened to a story about a young crocodile deciding what to do with his first financial windfall, recited rhymes about the value of coins and decorated their own jars for sharing, saving and spending.

Rachel McClelland, who attended the program with her 4-year-old daughter, Kaelyn, said she thinks the lessons are important ones for the whole family.

“I think it’s good for parents to be aware of how to teach their children about money matters,” she said.

The grant is part of PNC’s multiyear, $350 million “Grow Up Great” program, which focuses on early childhood development and education.

Paula Fryland, a regional vice president at PNC, said the foundation looks for ways to give an extra boost to organizations that already are doing effective work in a particular area of early childhood education or development.

“We really try to find ways to connect with groups that are already working in a space,” she said.

Barr: 919-836-4952

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