CWCID launched the School Banking program in 1998 out of a firm conviction that financial literacy is an essential tool for breaking the cycle of poverty.  The concepts and values, which are key to economic empowerment, can best be imparted by integration into the school environment and both its academic and civic activities.  Among immigrant communities, especially, children often serve as a gateway to information for their families.  School Banking, therefore also potentially serves as a catalyst for minimizing the mistrust of financial institutions that is a primary barrier to banking participation in our community.

Through a combination of monthly financial literacy workshops and hands-on banking activity, we currently teach fourth- and fifth-graders at five local elementary schools – PS 5, PS 8, PS 115, PS 152, and Mott Hall -- about the importance of saving money. During the 2004-05 school year, over 400 children received our financial literacy workshops and today, nearly 1,200 school children have opened accounts at the credit union, saving over $51,000.

Unlike many ten-year-olds, School Banking participants are not concerned with short-term savings for toys and video games. Rather, many of them tell us they are saving for college, for family gifts, and even to help their parents purchase homes or cars.  In addition, since students are required to make all account withdrawals at the credit union with adult supervision, many parents learn firsthand about the financial services and technical assistance available here. As a result, dozens of School Banking parents have opened their first-ever bank accounts.

Join the School Banking Challenge!

Take part in the School Banking Matching Gifts Program! You can help our students build savings by matching the program’s total amount of year-end savings.  When you make a matching gift to School Banking, we will distribute 50% of the donation into the savings accounts of the program's most diligent savers. The remaining 50% of your gift is reserved for program administration.  For more information, please contact Ana Fremont at 212-927-5771.



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