Time to Bank On

The U.S. National Strategy for Financial Literacy 2020 defines financial literacy as the “key to unlocking the foundations of economic opportunity and powering a strong resilient economy.” It’s also the ability to put that knowledge to good use. Those who are financially literate can create a budget and manage their checking account, understand how credit cards work, and save for future financial needs like college or a new home.


Unfortunately, as many as 60% of Allentown households are living paycheck to paycheck. When Communities In Schools of Eastern PA’s, Jeffrey Espinola, community school coordinator at Washington Elementary School, discovered the opportunity to partner with the BankOn Allentown coalition, he jumped at the opportunity. The partnership will help bring financial literacy education to school families and the surrounding community.

Program participants are identified through outreach efforts and the BankOn coalition. They engage in an eight-week, hands-on financial literacy curriculum conducted by the Financial Literacy Center, and both virtual and in-person options are available. Snacks are provided by the City of Allentown for in-person attendees.


“Washington Elementary is located in center-city Allentown, with a majority of students and families living below the poverty line. One of Communities In Schools of Eastern PA’s priorities is to help families address the root causes of generational poverty, develop financial literacy skills, and gain access to banking resources,” said Espinola.


Participants have been able to learn through fun games and lessons, such as a stock market game that teaches them how to invest and win money at the same time. The individual with the most return on investment in the mock stock market wins $100 at the end of the course.


More about Communities In Schools of Eastern PA can be found here.


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