Chelan, WA – In the 2016-2017 academic year, six North Central Washington elementary schools implemented “The Vault,” a free, digital financial education program. North Cascades Bank has partnered with leading education technology company EverFi, Inc. to bring this interactive, web-based financial management program to local schools since the program’s inception in 2014. In 2017, the program has already reached more than 350 students.
“North Cascades Bank is proud to have empowered so many students with the essential skills needed to make sound financial decisions. It’s a testament to our investment in our local communities,” Scott Anderson, president of North Cascades Bank said. “It is crucial that our younger generation understand important aspects of personal finance like the difference between wants and needs and how to make a budget. This course is providing them with the knowledge needed to successfully navigate the increasingly complex financial world we live in.”
The 353 students reached through The Vault completed 920 hours of learning during the 2016-17 school year. Students’ understanding of key financial topics rose by an average 56% based on pre- and post-assessment scores. Among the valuable topics covered were saving, banking, investing, renting versus owning, credit scores, taxes and insurance, and consumer fraud.
“Thank you for The Vault program and the fun celebration you organized at the school last week,” said a teacher using the program. “I was impressed with how well the kids responded to the financial game questions. We look forward to working with you and using the program next year!”
According to recent EverFi survey data, 87% of parents talk to their kids about money, but only 43% of parents describe themselves as ‘well prepared’ to teach their kids about money. Many do not discuss more complex concepts like credit, financing higher education, or building wealth, focusing instead on values and rules-of-thumb like saving, managing spending, and avoiding debt.
These statistics support the need for financial education in a school setting, where all students have an equal opportunity to learn essential financial skills. The Vault is implemented in a co-curricular basis, providing students with the opportunity to develop healthy financial attitudes and behaviors in a classroom setting.
North Cascades Bank’s partnership with EverFi, Inc. brings the program to local students at no cost to the schools or the taxpayer. The Vault program uses the latest in simulation and gaming technologies to bring complex financial concepts to life for today’s digital generation and introduce financial literacy skills early in a child’s cognitive development.
The 2.5-hour curriculum aligns with state and national standards and includes topics such as saving, budgeting, responsibility and decision-making, credit and debt, careers, income, and charity. In 2015, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) highlighted EverFi’s schools-based financial education programs in a new report on Advancing K-12 Financial Education: A Guide for Policymakers.
“Helping students and adults develop a foundation of financial understanding and capability is absolutely critical,” said EverFi Founder and CEO Tom Davidson. “We are grateful for our partnership with North Cascades Bank who is tackling this issue head on and taking positive steps to prepare young people with the critical financial management skills needed to be savvy, responsible consumers.”
About North Cascades Bank
North Cascades Bank is a division of Glacier Bank of Kalispell, Montana. Glacier Bank is a subsidiary of Glacier Bancorp, Inc. (GBCI), a regional bank holding company headquartered in Kalispell, Montana, operating fourteen bank divisions including North Cascades Bank. These bank divisions provide financial services to individuals and community based businesses throughout Montana, Idaho, Colorado, Utah, Washington, Arizona and Wyoming. Additional information about the bank can be found at www.northcascadesbank.com.
EverFi, Inc. is the leading education technology company focused on teaching, assessing, and certifying K-12 and college students in the critical skills they need for life. The company teams with major corporations and foundations to provide the programs at no cost to K-12 schools. Some of America’s leading CEOs and venture capital firms are EverFi investors including Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, Twitter founder Evan Williams, Rethink Education, New Enterprise Associates, Inc. (NEA), and Tomorrow Ventures (the investment arm of Google Chairman Eric Schmidt). Learn more at www.everfi.com.
(Courtesy of Kyla Allen, North Cascades Bank)