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Award Winning University Project Established Blueprint for Financial Literacy Success

by Team Sammy

“Kindergartners aren’t too young to start saving. Even with them being 5 they really get it. They understand saving is a habit – putting it away for another day to reach a goal. I think because of Sammy Rabbit it clicks.”
-Maryland Kindergartner Teacher, Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences, Spring 2010

In 2009 University of Maryland Extension Educator Megan O'Neil-Haight earned the National Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences (NEAFCS) Dean Don Felker Financial Management Award for her “Parents and Teachers as Wealth Coaches” project featuring Sammy Rabbit.

She documented the successful strategy in the Spring 2010 issue of the Journal of Family and Consumer Sciences. You can locate excerpts from the article online at both:

It was also reported on by WBOC 16 Maryland in the Learning Matters news segment below.

The effort delivered Sammy Rabbit character and author based programs and materials to more than 5,000 families in southeastern Maryland. The initiative improved student knowledge about money, saving, and goal-setting across all grade levels. It also increased teacher commitment to discussing personal finance in the classroom. Results of the project were culled from pre and post-test data, and from surveys taken in 147 classrooms.

Our goal now is to collaborate with others to replicate and scale the successful strategies and resources we've learned and developed over the last two decades delivering financial education programs across the world.

User Experiences and Feedback

Here is a sampling of user experiences - Sammy Rabbit Dream Big Financial Education resources.

In Home: Parent Child Experiences
Michael Morton, Dad and Daughter, Harvard, MA
Nick Bradfield: Father and son, Cary, NC
Chelsea Iliff: Military Mom, MD

In School and After School: Led by Community Leaders
Arkansas Big Dream Read Week

Malabar Elementary School. Rosa Overstreet, Los Angeles, CA
St. John Lutheran School, Amy Vetrone, Financial Educator Berlin, WI
Walnut Elementary School, Baldwin Park, CA
Huntington Elementary School. Cedric Turner. Empower Yourself, Brockton, MA
Did You See What Marine Veteran Nick Bradfield Did? Cary, NC
Patrina Dixon and United Way Women's Leadership Council, Hartford, CT
Money Smart 101, Philadelphia, PA
Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

Author Led Experiences
YMCA and East Los Angeles College, Los Angeles, CA
Peterson Air Force Base, Colorado Springs, CO
Air Force Aid Society, Arlington, VA
El Monte Promise Foundation, El Monte, CA
University of Maryland Cooperative Extension, Salisbury, MD

Media Reviews
Fox: Good Day Columbus: Krista Cavalieri
Financial Advisor Magazine: Children Form Financial Behaviors By 7
Kiplinger: Janet Bodnar, Editor. Kids and Money Author