Maps Credit Union (Maps CU) has partnered with Western Oregon University (WOU) to incorporate Biz Kid$ into the College of Education’s (COE) curriculum. The partnership is designed to provide tomorrow’s elementary school teachers in Oregon the tools necessary to teach financial literacy in the classroom. Maps CU received support from the National Credit Union Foundation (the Foundation) through a Biz Kid$ Financial Education Grant.
“Using the Biz Kid$ curriculum provides the necessary tools to help teach the future educators of Oregon the importance of financial education, and this curriculum will make such a positive impact on students’ financial futures,” said Danielle Brown, Director of Development and Donor Relations at the Foundation.
Teachers at WOU in the College of Education have introduced Biz Kid$ lessons to two consecutive years of future teachers. Approximately 84% of Oregon’s schools employ WOU alumni as educators, providing a large audience to be reached through this initiative.
To date, 17 lesson plans have been written by teachers and students in the WOU COE for the use of teachers. These lessons include 5 dual-language lesson plans that can greatly diversify the reach and impact of the Biz Kid$ curriculum.
“This project is a wonderful intersection of our history as an educators’ credit union, our commitment to financial literacy in our community, and our partnerships with local educational institutions,” said Shane Saunders, Vice President of Development for Maps Credit Union.
Maps CU will be adding these newly created lesson plans to their website to be available for free for instructors who wish to use them. This will help to create a stronger relationship between the schools and Maps CU as they work together to increase financial literacy in the community.
“Financial literacy has historically been an underrepresented component in public education, but as any adult can attest, it is vital part of our everyday lives. Having financial literacy lessons and resources that teachers can easily access will go a long way in building a greater literacy in this area!” stated Kenneth Carano, Associate Professor/MAT Coordinator at Western Oregon University.
To showcase the Biz Kid$ lesson and website, Maps CU and WOU will participate in the annual Oregon Council of Social Studies Conference in October. Teachers and students will be able to demonstrate how they are using the curriculum in their classrooms.
“These lessons represent real-world, viable and professional plans that give educators important tools to teach financial literacy. They also reinforce the important role credit unions play in building financial literacy along with reaffirming the historical social mission of credit unions,” stated Cori Frauendiener, Director of Education Partnerships for Maps Credit Union. “Preparing our future teachers to teach financial literacy in the classroom is a vital component for their success.”
A Foundation Grant at Work
This “Grant at Work” is part of a series
that highlights Foundation grantees who made a positive impact in
their community and empowered consumers to achieve financial freedom
through credit unions. Grants are made possible by supporters of the
Biz Kid$ - Teaching Kids about Money & Business
Biz Kid$ is a financial literacy initiative launched nationally in
January 2008 that teaches kids about money and business. The initiative
includes an award-winning TV series, free classroom curriculum,
outreach activities, and a website targeting children 9 – 16 years
old. The Foundation is responsible for the fundraising and outreach
of the program, and a coalition of over 300 credit unions and
affiliates from across the country have helped exclusively fund Biz
Many credit unions leverage Biz Kid$ to teach financial education in
schools in their community. In addition to the Foundation’s box sets and starter kits, companion materials and other resources for teachers and parents are available at no cost on the Biz Kid$ website, bizkids.com. The site also features clips from the series and invites kids to appear on the show.
For more information about Biz Kid$, click here.