Money Magnets Club (MMC) was piloted as a start-up social entrepreneurial effort during the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library’s observance of Money Smart Week in 2019 as the brainchild of librarian Teresa Cain, and the program elements were designed and facilitated by community member Alexandra Arrington. It serves as a medium to teach elementary schoolers about and prepare them, pragmatically, for life. Financial literacy, community-mindedness and character education within the framework of business ownership are the key pillars of MMC. Other developmental considerations for the age group served include the one-hour format of the club, reinforcement of literacy and vocabulary, and encouraging calculated risk.
The program draws upon the Money Smart curriculum to teach and demonstrate the concepts of currency, capital, budgeting, lending/borrowing, and investing, among others, as foundational to entrepreneurship. The Charlotte Mecklenburg Library has been a great partner as the launch site to gather free books/materials for families and kids to take home and further their learning.
There is no better time to start the process of introducing financial literacy and entrepreneurship than with the elementary aged population we serve (ages 5-11). There is a lack of attention geared toward this age group with the intent of MMC, as the focus of programming and resources have increasingly turned to adults and teens. The benefit of our focus on kids’ experience with these concepts is that their responsible adults are also involved and work with the student to support their learning, as well as reinforce their own understanding. Unlike other popular programs in the area, MMC runs over the summer, in the evenings and on the weekends, and build kids’ capacity and understanding such they can try out a business idea and receive funding support.
The Landscape of Opportunity
Individuals growing up in Charlotte, NC in poverty are not likely to rise out of poverty in adulthood according to the widely read Chetty Study. MMC is one effort to disrupt poverty by providing resources for economic empowerment to kids and their responsible adults in areas most likely to be negatively affected by this trend. We currently run the MMC at the West Boulevard branch of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and started a second site at The Nest at Camp North End in July 2019.
The goal is for MMC to have funded, regular rotations of the program at five (5) sites in Charlotte by summer 2021 in collaboration with corporate and community partners. $500 of the raised funds for each site are earmarked for our R.I.C.H. (Responsible Investments in Community Hope) seed capital fund, which will invest up to $25 for those students matriculating successfully through MMC—which includes regular attendance, doing a budget, crafting a business plan, and giving a business pitch in our special R.I.C.H circle format conducive to encouragement rather than competition as they grow their confidence—to launch their business ideas.
View the dates for each class by clicking the buttton below. Sessions are free and no registration is needed to attend.