How Northwest Credit Unions Can Help Schools Teach About Money With Free and Low-Cost Resources

Oregon teachers began learning about the free financial literacy lesson plans during a conference last October.

Looking for a new way to connect with your local schools? Maps Credit Union, a $552 million former teacher’s credit union in Salem, Oregon, has created a set of free financial literacy lessons you can present to students or share with local teachers.

Schools in Washington and Oregon are required to incorporate financial literacy education into K–12 education, but many teachers are at a loss as to how they can integrate this into their already full curriculum.

“It’s really tough for teachers to find materials because they are so limited,” said Cori Frauendiener, Director of Education at Maps.

That’s where Maps came in. The credit union secured a grant from the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) to create financial literacy lesson plans in English and Spanish that integrate elements from the Emmy-winning BizKid$ program — and then make them available at no charge. Student teachers at Western Oregon University, a teaching college in Monmouth, Oregon, that graduates 80% of Oregon’s teachers, wrote the lesson plans as part of its elementary social studies education program.  Two teachers in Woodburn, Oregon also partnered in creating the curriculum.

However, the lesson plans are just the first step credit unions can use to build that relationship with teachers. BizKid$ offers a complete curriculum that teachers can use to hit specific parts of their state’s financial literacy standards or to support specific questions their students have.

And this is where credit unions can really support their local schools, said Frauendiener. With the discount offered to credit unions, they can get a starter kit or complete season of BizKid$ for only $60, a fraction of what schools would need to pay. Then the credit union can loan out full seasons to teachers as needed. Enhance the relationship even further, she suggests, by reviewing the BizKid$ materials so you can point teachers to exactly the right piece to use with their students. “If you can do some of the homework for the teacher, you can really win that school over.”

The lesson plans are written for elementary students, but they are adaptable for older students because the BizKid$ resources are relevant and interesting to multiple ages. For example, Frauendiender said, Carol Kilfoil, a long-time partner of the credit union through its high school branches, is using BizKid$ materials with her ninth-grade financial education class. Credit union personnel could use the lessons to run their own financial education events or share them local nonprofit partners.

Editor’s note: Download the lesson plans from the Maps website and share them with the schools and organizations you support. If you need more information or have questions about these lessons or about how to integrate BizKid$ into financial literacy education, contact Cori Frauendiener at cfrauendiener@mapscu.com.

 

Questions about this story? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225, lheider@nwcua.org.

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