In Fall 2014, American Express is launching Clarksdale Dollars & Sense, a three year program to provide Clarksdale High School students in Clarksdale, Mississippi with home Internet access, a financial mentorship program, and mobile phone-based learning in partnership with non-profits Moneythink and EveryoneOn in an effort to help students build and prepare for a healthy financial future.
For the first time, Clarksdale high school seniors will benefit from a financial literacy curriculum integrated into their Government and Economics class and taught by caring and committed Moneythink mentors from local universities.
We think this increased access to technology and financial mentorship can help the future of Clarksdale pave the way to achieve greater financial health. Throughout the program, Glass Frog, an independent research firm will measure the results of Clarksdale Dollars and Sense over time so we can understand the impact of this program and use it as a blueprint for how to help other underserved communities.
For more information, the press release can be found here.
World renowned artists, musicians and writers claim Clarksdale as their home and inspiration. Clarksdale is the “Birthplace of the Blues” and is the location of the legendary Crossroads where Blues pioneer Robert Johnson purportedly sold his soul to the devil1. The Delta Blues Museum is located in the historic railroad freight depot in the downtown.
Despite the vibrant cultural resources they enjoy, approximately half of Clarksdale households live outside the financial mainstream2 meaning they don’t have a bank account to manage their money and instead often rely on check cashing or payday loans-- and a vast majority of them have done so for generations.
Measure student engagement with technology and curriculum as well as the impact of these programs over time.
Place trained mentors in Clarksdale High School to serve as peer role models and teach a digitally integrated financial literacy curriculum.
Provide free home Internet Service from CableONE to eligible households with a child enrolled at Clarksdale High.