Student counting money and learning budgeting skills

Find Out How PNWFCU Is Bringing Financial Literacy to Our Schools

Mar. 09, 2020

With an experienced teacher on staff, we are working with K-12 schools to create a groundbreaking financial education program to counteract the lack of financial literacy in Oregon.

Studies like this one from the CFPB show the benefits of financial education, yet most Oregon students miss out on financial education courses. As a result, FINRA’s National Financial Capability Study discovered the following:

  • 21% of Oregon residents spend more than they earn.
  • 35% only pay the minimum on credit cards.
  • 48% lack a rainy day fund.

PNWFCU wants to change this.

Introducing Kristin Mullady, Teacher on Staff at PNWFCU

Financial literacy teacher Kristin Mullady helping Oregon schools with PNWFCU

We hired teacher Kristin Mullady in December 2019 to spearhead a new financial education program that schools can implement for free. Mullady brings classroom experience teaching math and science at Jackson Middle School for Portland Public Schools. She gained unique curriculum development skills through Jackson’s artful learning program that reached outside the scope of traditional textbook instruction. She furthered her education overseas while helping to develop educational programs in India, Italy and The Netherlands.

Now Mullady is partnering with teachers and administration to build financial education curriculum and help teach classes. The fully developed K-12 curriculum will comply with the Oregon State Standards for each grade. There will be three to five lessons per grade, depending on number of state standards.

Why We Need Financial Literacy in Schools

Learning financial literacy in school has proven to give young adults a head start as they begin making financial decisions of their own. Students often enter college without understanding financial aid, loans, debt, credit, inflation, budgeting and credit scores. According to the U.S. Department of Education, 11.5% of students who graduated from college in 2014 have loans in default.

Expanding financial literacy opportunities for local students is a logical step for the credit union, given our ongoing community outreach and mission to be a financial partner.

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