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Charlotte Alumna Shelby Lattimore Goes Viral From Her Classroom

In a Charlotte classroom, third-grade students are getting a crash course in financial literacy, but not in the way you might expect. Shelby Lattimore, a Charlotte alumna and a local teacher, has taken to social media platforms TikTok and Instagram to share her innovative approach to teaching financial responsibility, capturing the attention of thousands online.

Lattimore’s method? A classroom economy where students must pay rent for their desks and other essentials. Each week, her students earn “Miss Lattimore Bucks” by completing various classroom jobs, simulating real-world financial responsibilities.

“Every week, viewers watch as her third grade math students collect ‘Miss Lattimore Bucks’ for their classroom jobs. At the end of the week, students collect their pay and have a decision to make: spend it or save it. The exercise gives them some practical life skills for the real world,” Lattimore explained.

This creative teaching strategy is more than just a lesson in math; it’s a lesson in life. As a Black educator in a school with a majority Black and Hispanic population, Lattimore is keenly aware of the challenges her students face. She’s using her classroom to provide them with the tools they’ll need to navigate financial decisions in the future.

“Charlotte is known for generational poverty,” Lattimore said, highlighting the importance of her lessons. “A lot of my students of color, Hispanic, Black, whatever it may be, they see their parents, they see their guardian, they see their grandmothers, grandfathers, whatever, may be living check to check. They see the money management of not thinking long term necessarily and the consequences of it.”

Lattimore’s efforts have not only made waves online but also caught the eye of Tarte Cosmetics, which rewarded her innovative teaching methods with a trip to NYC and a $10,000 check. As she continues to share her journey, Lattimore is proving that financial literacy is a crucial skill, one that can be taught in engaging and practical ways, even to the youngest of learners.

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