For my thesis, I chose to write a children’s book on financial education. The purpose of the book is to introduce financial terms such as savings, loans, and opportunity cost into a child’s life. The goal of the book is to inspire young individuals to start having open discussions about their finances and what these terms mean as well as how it applies to their daily lives.
The inspiration of the book came from my personal upbringing. I was born and raised in Mesa, Arizona, where I would see title loans businesses in every street corner. Many close family friends grew a dependency on these loans. As I grew older, I became aware of the long-term effects these businesses had on these families and I became inspired to make a change.
My book is meant to introduce simple financial terms into a child’s life with the hopes that they will begin to converse with family and friends about these terms. My book specifically incorporates the terms: loans, opportunity costs, savings, and affordability. These four topics were chosen through surveying a high school class by gathering information such as what they know, how much they know, and what they would like to learn more about. The intended audience would be students reading at a 3rd grade reading level. This grade level is ideal for my book based off information found on the Arizona Department of Education’s website. Final revisions were done with the help of my committee as well as through feedback received from children.
The book itself is 31 pages long with illustrations on every page. The illustrations consist of photographs and drawings. The drawings were purposely placed, roughly, and without color, on the photographs to symbolize the rough patches in life in yet a colorful world.
Proposition 1184 plays a major role in the future of my book. Proposition 1184 is
currently working its way through the Arizona legislature and would require all high school students to take a class on financial basics, replacing the current economics class requirement. I plan to continue working with Mesa Public Schools to get my book, or a similar project, incorporated into the Mesa Public Schools curriculum. I envision the book starting discussions related to financial topics which will in turn familiarize children with these terms’ definitions and begin the movement of financial education in Arizona.