Innovation:The Watt Kids Financial Literacy Program
Home: Rosedale, Maryland
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Twitter Handle: @wattbiz
Saving the Youth
An accountant teaches young students the importance of financial literacy
By Jessica Bizik
Photography by Chris Crews
According to Aneka Winstead, it’s never too early to have a conversation about finances. The Morgan State University graduate believes that if children are taught how to manage their money and save at a young age that they will not repeat the same mistakes when they become an adult– which will ultimately break the cycle of poverty.
Aneka discovered her passion for financial literacy while studying in the accounting program at Dunbar High School. By the time she enrolled into Morgan State she already had the skill set to become an accountant. “I work with clients all the time when I do their taxes…and if these adult don’t know what they’re doing, then I know these children definitely don’t know.”
“If you have parents in poverty that are not managing their money and if they don’t have the knowledge, it will be a repeated cycle. I want to break that cycle with this program.”
In an attempt to change the narrative, she created the Watt Kids Financial Literacy Program at Dr. Bernard Harris Elementary School. The program– that meets every Wednesday– works with third graders to begin having the conversation about finances. “If you have parents in poverty that are not managing their money and if they don’t have the knowledge, it will be a repeated cycle. I want to break that cycle with this program.”
And not only is she breaking the cycle with her after-school program, she is also teaching her children how to manage their spending. Her nine-year-old son has already created his own business writing and selling books. “I’d like to think that I inspired him. Everything I do with my students, I do with him.”
The mother of three hopes to one day create a financial literacy workbook that focuses on finances. And she also hopes that her program can eventually be implemented into the Baltimore City Public Schools curriculum. But in the meantime will continue to spread the knowledge of good financial management to people of all ages.