A Credit Union’s Innovative Approach to Financial Education

When Pacific NW Federal Credit Union’s leadership team decided to take financial education to a new level, it turned to an expert who knew firsthand how to connect in the classroom. The Portland-based credit union hired Kristin Mullady, a math and science middle school teacher, to develop a comprehensive program for students in kindergarten through high school.

“Empowering young people with good financial knowledge is critical,” said Tom Griffith, President and CEO. “We’re very excited to be able to offer this curriculum to students to give them the tools they need to be successful adults.”

Mullady became a PNWFCU employee in late 2019 and was able to quickly transition her program to virtual platforms when the pandemic closed classrooms across the state. All of her programs have been approved by the state of Oregon, and she maintains her teaching credentials.

Over the past year, her program was shared in 30 classrooms, and teachers are singing its praises.

“You simplified the approach and made it easy to understand and relevant to real-world future life situations,” said a high school teacher. An elementary school teacher added that the course material is “easy to use and the students were engaged and enjoyed the topic.”

This school year, Mullady will be available to teach in person or online in the Portland metro and Hood River, Oregon areas. Teachers can also download the coursework and teach the courses themselves. Last week, Mullady and some of her PNWFCU colleagues visited teachers in the Portland area to make them aware of the free program. It was enthusiastically received.

“I like to reach beyond the scope of traditional textbook instruction, and make learning interactive and fun,” Mullady said.

Visit PNWFCU’s website to learn more about the financial education curriculum.

Posted in Around the NW, CU Difference.