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East End kids of 9 get Canary Wharf tips to break poverty chain

PUBLISHED: 12:00 02 November 2009 | UPDATED: 15:10 05 October 2010

Kids perform their budget play teaching them  about finance

Kids perform their budget play teaching them about finance

CHILDREN as young as nine are being taught how to manage the family budget to help break the poverty chain in London's deprived East End. They are learning financial literacy by producing plays in school with their own budgets

By Mike Brooke

CHILDREN as young as nine are being taught how to manage the family budget to help break the poverty chain in London's deprived East End.

They are learning financial literacy by producing plays in school with their own budgets.

The arts charity Create has launched a programme to help literacy and finance skills in five inner London primary schools for youngsters aged nine to 11. The first school taking part is Bygrove Primary in Poplar, on the doorstep of Canary Wharf business district.

The programme, paid for by cash from Canary Wharf's Citi bank HQ, is aimed at developing the children's reading and financial awareness.

The charity's director and co-founder Nicky Goulder said: "Our mission is to reach the most disadvantaged and vulnerable families in society, working with children at schools in five of the country's most deprived boroughs.

"A lack of financial awareness at a young age can lead to unemployment and poverty later in life."

Tower Hamlets is one of London's worst areas for personal debt which has led to money counselling sessions having to be set up at centres like Whitechapel's Toynbee Hall, to help families trapped in poverty.

The charity's programme started at Bygrove Primary includes a visit to the Bank of England, where children from two classes learn about finance and how it relates to their lives. Back at school, the youngsters write their own play and develop a budget to buy props and costumes, with the option to save some of the budget or give it it to charity.

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