Giving Compass' Take:

• Lauren Barack reports that more schools are collaborating with credit unions through free community partnerships that provide financial literacy courses.

What role can funders play in facilitating this type of partnership? What partners in your community could be leveraged for financial literacy? 

Read more about the importance of financial literacy.

Sheron Myers is always on the road. As the senior financial education specialist (K-12) for Virginia Credit Union, Myers travels to elementary, middle and high schools in the Richmond, Virginia, area and surrounding counties to help students get up to speed on the subject of personal finance. To her, there’s never an age too young to learn the value of money — and she says students understand far more, in terms of financial details, than adults give them credit for knowing.

“They even know in the 1st grade what a debit card is, how it’s used, and what a PIN card is,” said Myers, who has also worked as a kindergarten teacher. “They even know the proper term.”

Financial literacy was once the terrain of home economics classes, taught in schools along with other life skills from cooking to woodworking. While shop classes may be seeing a resurgence in some districts, not all require that students graduate with the ability to balance a checkbook or finance a car.

Today, parents are often expected to fill in the blanks — but when families don’t explain how to pay bills or how to keep a budget, some students are left without the tools to handle money successfully as adults.

Organizations such as the Virginia Credit Union are also choosing to underwrite financial literacy programs as part of community partnerships, which means the programs are free for schools. In some cases, these programs are also offered at a national level, and while they certainly bring more visibility to the financial institutions involved, they’re also delivering some much-needed financial know-how to students in a way that teachers can more easily add them to existing courses.

Read the full article about financial literacy by Lauren Barack at Education Dive.