CSUB Partners with BCSD, Bank of America for Financial Literacy Pilot Program

California State University, Bakersfield partnered with Bank of America to teach Better Money Habits (bettermoneyhabits.com) to students from Washington Middle School of the Bakersfield City School District (BCSD). 

Two CSUB students from the School of Business and Public Administration taught the younger students valuable lessons on saving, investing and banking.  

“I think this Financial Literacy Program benefits our accounting and finance students since it offers them opportunities to apply the knowledge that they learned in the classrooms,” said CSUB Department Chair, Accounting and Finance, Dr. Dan Zhou. “Financial literacy is critical to the local community’s economic growth. Our university does a great job by actively promoting and participating in this program.”

The class was provided with materials from the “Your Financial Future” curriculum from the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship. Lessons were designed with elementary, middle-school and high-school students in mind, and are divided by grade level.

The curriculum encompassed real-world importance of various financial topics; actions that students can apply to their knowledge; opportunities for self-reflection; personal and professional goal-setting opportunities; the reality, importance and viability of financial and entrepreneurial activities, and achievements; and encouragement for future achievement.

"It takes a village to raise a child. As a mother, I see this firsthand.  It is such a pleasure to have the opportunity to interact and influence these students in a different way,” said Katrina Martin, assistant Vice President, Testing Specialist for Bank of America. “Financial literacy is imperative to their successful future, and this program gives them knowledge and tools to lay the foundation for that. I am honored to be a small part of that success through both the support of CSUB and Bank of America."

The Washington Middle School students celebrated the end of the project with a trip to CSUB, where they received a tour and had a picnic. Representatives from Bank of America also were in attendance.

This program not only provided opportunities to the elementary school students, but to the CSUB students involved. One of the students who volunteered as a facilitator was offered a job at Bank of America and is currently working there part-time until he graduates. He will then become a full-time employee.

“Our students learned so much and were highly engaged throughout the whole program. When I visited the class I was so impressed to hear the finance language they were using and their knowledge of financial literacy. I hope we can continue this next year in all of our middle schools,” said Deanna Clarke, the After School Program Coordinator for Bakersfield City School District.

Bank of America looks forward to continuing the program in the fall of 2017 and expanding to other schools in the Bakersfield School District. It will also present valuable volunteer opportunities to CSUB finance and accounting students.

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