SOURCE: BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life)

BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life)

November 16, 2009 17:08 ET

One Hen, Inc. Expands Financial Literacy Track With BELL Programs in Charlotte

Stories of Microfinance Inspire Middle School Students to Explore the Possibilities of Entrepreneurship

CHARLOTTE, NC--(Marketwire - November 16, 2009) - This week, nonprofit partners One Hen, Inc. and BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) announce the launch of Kojo's Academy, a 16 session curriculum. Middle school scholars participating in BELL programs in Charlotte will learn micro-entrepreneur's stories, receive small loans, create simple key-chain & jewelry businesses (complete with product development and marketing jingles), sell their wares, and vote on how to invest their profits, including donations to local charitable organizations. The One Hen curriculum is helping students to understand how business works through hands-on activities and the simple stories of African, Asian and Latin American small entrepreneurs -- seamstresses, fisherman, jewelry makers and more -- all of whom started with little more than a good idea, a small loan, and the willingness to work hard and build their way out of poverty.

"Equipping teachers with resources that bring world issues into the classroom and seeding children with an entrepreneurial vision for their lives and a passion to contribute to solving our world's great problems are at the core of One Hen's mission," said One Hen's executive director, Amma Sefa-Dedeh. "Stories of micro-entrepreneurship show children the difference they can make in their own lives by taking personal initiative, and the difference they can make in others' lives by giving back. BELL's commitment to build self-esteem and life opportunities for children makes it the ideal partner."

The One Hen out-of-school time (OST) curriculum was piloted this summer in three Boston-area BELL summer learning programs with more than 120 4th and 5th graders. In New York City, scholars in another BELL summer learning program in Harlem participated in a one-day micro-entrepreneurship program, facilitated by volunteers from Goldman Sachs Community Teamworks and microfinance nonprofit Opportunity International.

"During our pilot this summer, we were genuinely impressed with how the One Hen program captured our scholars' imaginations and engaged them in a meaningful, real-world project," said M. Dean Bradley, Vice President of Regional Operations for BELL. "One Hen echoes BELL's goal to create learning experiences that inspire scholars to set and achieve high aspirations for themselves, and to give back to their communities."

About One Hen, Inc:

One Hen, Inc., is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that grew out of the 2008 children's book on microfinance: One Hen: How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference, and the educator movement it inspired. One Hen's mission is to help children become global citizens that succeed in school and beyond and marry that success to helping others. One Hen Global Kids, a family of enrichment books and web-based resources developed by One Hen, teaches elementary school children about world issues where they can make a difference. One Hen materials cultivate values of financial responsibility, personal initiative, global awareness and giving back. The website,, offers students a chance to learn through participating in interactive activities that simulate real loans to real micro-entrepreneurs from One Hen, Inc. field partner Opportunity International.

About BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life):

BELL, founded in 1992, is one of the nation's leading providers of quality afterschool and summer educational programs. BELL is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to enhance the educational achievements, self-esteem and life opportunities of children living in under-resourced, urban communities. BELL serves more than 11,000 children annually in schools throughout Baltimore, Boston, Charlotte, Detroit, Flint (Mich.), New York City, Saginaw (Mich.), and Springfield (Mass.). Please visit for more information.

One Hen Inc. P.O. Box 990781 Boston, MA 02199