Whether it’s that teeth should be brushed before bed or the building blocks of financial stability, Tasha Danielle is ushered by the philosophy that you teach them young. The CPA’s education brand, Financial Garden, teaches financial literacy to students K-12, and to the educators and parents who shepherd them. Her age-tailored curriculum focuses on six areas – or plots, if you will: emotions and money, banking, entrepreneurship, debt fundamentals, budgeting and investing.
“Kids know about money,” Danielle says. “As soon as they can say, ‘Can you buy me this?’ they understand the concept of money. Usually around 3 years old, their financial schemas are developing. It’s important to teach them as early as possible how to earn (money) and what it really means to use it.”
Since it was founded in 2014, Financial Garden has educated over 700 students in the classroom and through afterschool and youth programs. In the first couple years, Danielle noticed that teachers were taking notes during her lessons.
She recognized that there was an opportunity to focus on the educators, too, and equip them with the tools to be able to pick up where she left off. Danielle brought the idea of a teacher-focused professional development program to school administrators, and another layer was added.
In July, Financial Garden was chosen as a semifinalist in the Build Your Legacy Contest, an ESSENCE and Pine-Sol partnership meant to celebrate and invest in Black female entrepreneurs. The company was awarded $15,000.
“It was rewarding – I think local organizations know what I’m doing at a local level – to be recognized on a national level,” Danielle says, adding that DTE was instrumental in spearheading the campaign to garner enough public votes.
Right now, they’re in the middle of their 10k with Amina Initiative to teach the fundamentals of “kidpreneurship” to 10,000 students, named for the book Danielle wrote, Amina’s Bracelets. It’s “a kidpreneur story that I wrote to really drive home how to start a business, and just so kids know they can reach a financial goal other than just by saving money,” Danielle says.
“They understand this early on, so let’s teach it to them early on. If they’re learning math and addition in the first grade, they should understand money, as well.”