A Young AmeriTowne Bank teller assists a student in writing checks and making deposits.

What Makes Financial Education Work?

Betsy Sklar General, Young AmeriTowne Leave a Comment

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The National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) has identified best practices for quality financial education programs. Young Americans Center for Financial Education’s Young AmeriTowne program meets each criteria. The program is loved by kids, teachers, and parents for giving students a hands-on experience in money management and business basics.  Now learn the ingredients that make the Young AmeriTowne program work.

Program Delivery

Requirement: The program is delivered by well-trained educators who are confident in delivering the lessons.  Young AmeriTowne is delivered by teachers, trained on Young AmeriTowne’s curriculum, proven with 30 years of pre- and post-test results.  It has earned national awards, including the EIFLE (Excellence in Financial Literacy) for Youth and the John Sherman Award for Excellence in Economic Education, U.S. Department of the Treasury.

Trusted, Unbiased Sources

Requirement: The program includes vetted resources that come from trusted, unbiased sources.  Young AmeriTowne is developed and tested by Young Americans Center for Financial Education, a pioneer in financial education for young people. The curriculum is updated annually based on feedback from educational specialists.

Timely Instruction

Requirement: The program is comprised of timely instruction presented when it can be applied. Young AmeriTowne is directed at the critical grades 5 and 6, when research shows students are the perfect age to develop healthy financial habits for life. Students immediately apply the concepts they learn to the real-world economic simulation when they run Young AmeriTowne.

Relevant Subject Matter

Requirement: The program contains relevant subject matter that fits the needs of diverse audiences. Teachers praise Young AmeriTowne, and re-enroll their schools for a retention rate of 93% for its ability to engage students attending a broad spectrum of 433 schools (38% low-income) through hands-on, real-life learning. “In the experience, students are pushed into working together and completely immersed in so many real-life scenarios, and they don’t even notice it because they are having so much fun. Now there are many times in class they connect what we may be learning in math to what the learned on the field trip.” Send-a-School teacher Kayla Schlitz.

Affect Behavior Change

Requirement. The program demonstrates evidence of impact and affect behavior change.  Young AmeriTowne results have been validated by a new two-year impact study conducted by an independent evaluation company, QREM.  Results demonstrate students have statistically significant gains in personal finance, attitudes toward school, civism and career choice.  Most notable were the gains by low-income students who outperformed their high-income peers in several important instances:  financial literacy, personal finance and business mindset.  Young AmeriTowne students also gained importance of a work ethic and taking pride in their hard work, characteristics researchers associate with future self-beneficial financial decision making.

NEFE concludes, “When these take place, competent, purposeful and lasting interventions happen!”

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