Teaching Financial Literacy to Middle School Students

Through a public/private partnership between Montclair State University’s Service-Learning and Community Engagement Program and Capital One Bank, University students are helping prepare low-income middle school students for the future by teaching them about money management, budgeting, credit, debt and other important financial literacy concepts.

Since September 2011, the Financial Education Corps (FEC)— comprised of students in the Bonner Leader AmeriCorps program—have gone out in teams to middle schools throughout the Orange School District to teach students about money matters. As of fall 2012, close to 600 middle schoolers had gone through the FEC program.

“I am glad to know that we are touching on a subject that most students do not get to hear about,” says Montclair State student Ashley Pizzuti. “This has been a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to change kids’ lives.”

Following the Junior Achievement Economics for Success middle school curriculum, the FEC uses games and other hands-on activities to help the middle school students learn about financial concepts and also about college, career and life choices.

The lessons seem to be sinking in. After completing the program, one sixth grader wrote: “When I get older, I will have a good education, money, a good credit score, a good job and also not be in debt.”