As a mom I always believe in teaching financial literacy for my kid. It all starts from home and then from the school. However, most parents fail at giving the right education for their kids from their early stages of life. Filling this gap, LaDonna N. Smith published her book ‘The Money Tree’ which won the 2014 Financial Literacy Children’s Book of the Year award from the Institute for Financial Literacy.
I had the opportunity to talk with her regarding her efforts on spreading the financial literacy to the youth and her life as an entrepreneur.
Here is the interview I had with her.Her success story will sure inspire you!!
1. Hello LaDonna! Can you please tell us about yourself?
Hi! I’m a wife and mom to four amazing children. I’m also an award-winning author, youth financial educator, and small press publisher. Along with running my publishing company, I recently launched a program called S.W.A.G. (Saving With A Goal), where I partner with both schools and banks in an effort to provide students in grades K-12 with high-energy and interactive financial literacy workshops. Through my publishing company, I create and publish a plethora of items including: children’s books, financial literacy-based games, and educational music for children.
I’m also the founder and publisher of “Writer’s Life Magazine.” Writer’s Life is a digital and print publication designed to acknowledge the hard work and talent of independent authors, screenwriters, songwriters, literary organizations, and rising illustrators.
2. What inspired you to start Writer’s Life Magazine?
Honestly, having my book rejected by bookstores and publishers, was the inspiration behind the publication.
On so many occasions I was told “Sorry – no self-published books accepted.” After hearing those five little words from literary agents and bookstores over and over again, I decided to create an avenue for myself to promote my own books and products.
Once I realized how many other authors were experiencing the same issue and struggling with the “self-published” stigma, I decided I to create a publication to not only showcase my work, but to also showcase the work of amazing independent authors all across the country.
3. How do you help other authors through your Magazine Company?
Writer’s Life Magazine gives independent artists a platform where they can be recognized for their contributions to the literary world. We offer independent artist a place to showcase their books, services, and talents.
Also, each issue of Writer’s Life Magazine provides professional advice and informative articles on writing and self-publishing books. There is even a small-business spotlight section that highlights bloggers and individuals who provide services to authors. The articles and business connections listed in Writer’s Life can be invaluable to any authors career.
4. Why did you write the book ‘The Money Tree’?
Growing up, my family never taught me about money management. Therefore, I wanted to introduce my children to financial literacy early so they wouldn’t have to learn through mistakes like I did. I believe, if children are properly educated surrounding money, when they are out on their own, they don’t have to learn about money the hard way. However, no matter how enthusiastic parents are, trying to formally teach finance to young children can be extremely difficult. To help parents along the way, I created The Money Tree. The book keeps money lessons relevant, age-appropriate and a bit playful.
5. What is the message that you convey through this book?
I hope readers of “The Money Tree” will understand the importance of early financial literacy. It is my goal that the book introduces young children to basic financial concepts such as saving, earning, spending, and sharing.
6. Have you published any other books? Can you explain a little more about your work and released books?
Sure! Here’s a brief description of each of my products:
Saving With A Goal
This workbook was designed to be used in conjunction with the award winning children’s book, “The Money Tree”. It provides over twenty practical activities to teach school-age children, third-grade through sixth-grade, basic money management. Each activity was designed to enforce a key personal finance concept and provide an easy and fun way for children to learn about money management.
Mya Makes A Mess
Mess…….Mischief……and Mayhem… Growing up can get really messy. Mya Makes a Mess is loaded with energy and humor to tickle your child’s funny bone and remind parents that “making a mess” and “helping” are a vital part of your child’s growth. This whimsical story and vibrant color illustrations remind children that the adults in their life love them – mess and all.
Pick Me, Pick Me!
Pick Me, Pick Me! is the lively story of a young boy named Cree, one of the shortest boys on the Bull Dogs basketball team. This full-color illustrated book for young readers follows Cree as he struggles with being accepted by his teammates, learns to perfect his game, and eventually helps the Bulldogs win a championship basketball game-all despite his height. The book includes a glossary of common basketball terms for those new to the sport and a “Little Baller, Big Game” goal activity page to help motivate young readers to reach for the stars. (I co-authored this story with my 12 and 11 year old sons, Elijah and Isaiah.)
I have also published a board game (The Money Tree Board Game), a card game (Money in the Bank Card Game), and a financial literacy song (S.W.A.G- Saving With A Goal).
7. Do you have any advice for emerging writers and entrepreneurs?
Being an entrepreneur and or independent author can present many challenges. How you deal with these challenges can make a world of difference. It’s all about your mindset. Your mindset can play a huge part in whether you succeed or fail. So, think positive!!
Check more details about LaDonna N. Smith by visiting www.writerslifemagazine.com
To read more about her publications,check www.fydpublishing.com
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