It's always a dilemma - the work we do in Financial Literacy is great, why not take it national? Our answer is usually "No," followed by a statement on how you would lose the aspect of mentoring, the quality will be diminished, curriculum less effective etc. But what if we were approached by a group that was willing to recreate the culture of mentorship, and not attempt to use volunteers or one-time teachers for a lesson?
We have had the amazing opportunity of licensing our curriculum to a passionate group of educators. The Comal Independent School District approached Andson to use the Andson Money Curriculum at the Fourth Grade Level for 18 schools. (Aside - how in the world would Andson be known in Texas, you ask? The introduction was made by way of friends at St. Jude's Ranch for Children - they operate campuses both in Boulder City, NV and San Antonio, Texas. Without The Ranch, we would have not been prompted to visit the Lone Star State). Andson co-branded and developed the materials, lessons and presentations to work for the demographic of Comal ISD - a district roughly the size of New Jersey.
What we've realized however is that our goal of supporting Southern Nevada doesn't mean our products and services just stay in Southern Nevada.
Look at this opportunity: First, there is a licensing cost - which means that Andson can have a stream of revenue that goes back to help us develop further products and services; Second, with the right partner, our commitment to mentorship and small, strong quality programs can continue. Comal goes above and beyond to pick the best instructors possible for our curriculum - we went down in early October to train 17 instructors. Some were long time substitutes that have been assigned to a particular school (and know that school's students well), some worked for the local Communities in Schools program, two were even school principals. Needless to say we were able to checkmark the criterion for passion.
Thirdly, and most importantly is the feedback and development opportunity. We have just opened our curriculum up to a feedback loop including 1,250 new students - something that would take a massive staff on Andson's part to facilitate locally. Comal ISD and Andson will continue expanding till we are able to blanket the Elementary level, hopefully developing a feeder alignment and carry these students through their entire schooling with targeted lesson on Financial Literacy.
Exposing our curriculum to new bodies of students means we can move exponentially faster to make our products and services even stronger - nearly impossible to match solely with local staff. Andson, for example, will monitor the Pre and Post Test assessments and will have access to feedback on Parental Engagement via homework assignments. These pieces will go back into Research and Development here locally, and then get rolled out to any licensees we may have in the future.
This may be small win for other organizations that are built with revenues and licensing in mind. But for Andson, the idea that we can build a culture and climate in Financial Education from 2000 miles away, and retain some control, is an empowering concept. We are so excited to open up the doors for licensing and for our new counterparts in the Lone Star State.
Thanks to our friends at St. Jude's Ranch for making the connections, and we hope that Andson will get as big as everything else in Texas!
And of course, if interested in licensing, feel free to contact us via the website - we'd love to explore a new relationship.