Renaee Smith is a children’s book author and award-winning schoolteacher from Union County, New Jersey. She has distributed thousands of books to children locally, nationally, and globally, notably in Jamaica and Ghana, through her own non-profit, Independent Writers Book Experience.
‘Freddie Learns the Value of Money,’ her newest book, takes young readers on a financial literacy journey alongside the main character, Freddie, as he learns how to budget and save money for a new bicycle.
‘Freddie Learns the Value of Money’ is a short narrative created for children aged 6 to 12. It is part of a five-book series that helps youngsters acquire an appreciation of hard labor, family values, community service, and environmental stewardship.
“I model Freddie after my three sons, who while all grown up, will always be little boys in my heart,” states Renaee. “I wanted to make sure that I feature a Black boy as the main character so that they can see themselves in my books. I also made sure to include multicultural characters as well. Representation is so important, and I hope that in incorporating a variety of backgrounds in my stories, I am doing my part to leave a positive legacy for my children and grandchildren.”
Financial literacy has deteriorated across the nation according to a research released by the Ohio State University. Under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003, the federal government established the Financial Literacy and Education Commission to raise awareness of this life skill. Freddie Learns the Value of Money teaches children how to manage money while also exposing how easy it is to be enticed to spend while striving to achieve your goals.
“I am incredibly proud of the series, and I feel that everyone – young and old – can take something away from each story,” states Renaee. “When I write, I am often inspired by my environment. This includes playing an active role in making the world a better place. Previously, I acted as a sitting member for my town’s Board of Education, and am the proud founder of a nonprofit for authors, Independent Authors Book Experience. I also work at a nonprofit working to end homelessness in Union County, New Jersey – The Elizabeth Coalition to House the Homeless. So Freddie tends to be very engaged with his community and helping others.”