Fayetteville native writes book to help teach financial literacy to kids

Cumberland County News

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WNCN) — Fayetteville native Crystal McLean is sounding the alarm on financial literacy for children. She just wrote her first book, “Harmoney and the Empty Piggy Bank.”

The book is inspired by her daughter, Harmony. Even while majoring in finance, McLean faced her own financial troubles in college and wanted to make sure her daughter didn’t follow down her path.

“I grew up being the first person in my family to go to college and I didn’t know [anything] about money. I got into debt, my credit score at one point was great, then it tanked. Despite the fact that I was actually pursuing a degree in finance …I still didn’t know enough, so my frustration was that, why is this not taught?” said McLean.

But when trying to remedy the problem, she faced another challenge when trying to find the right book for her then 7-year-old daughter.

“I was trying to find a book for her to teach her about money and frustratingly enough there was no books in her age range,” she said.

“Harmoney and the Empty Piggy Bank” was then born. The book is focused on entrepreneurship, budgeting, and investing that young children can understand.

“Why is it that I have to learn how to pay off debt when I’m already in debt? Why can’t I learn about debt early on?” McLean asked.

That’s exactly what her new book is supposed to do: teach young kids about finances – but it’s simultaneously showing them something else.

“For her to see an African-American character in a book…for her to see herself in a book…often times there’s so many different depictions and our kids can’t find themselves in books,” said McLean.

McLean partnered with the Fayetteville nonprofit “CEED,” which stands for Center for Economic Empowerment and Development. They’re kicking off their first financial literacy program at the Boys & Girls Club of Cumberland County.

McLean’s book is available at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, and her own website.

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