May 18, 2022
LAS VEGAS, Nev. - Every student in the State of Nevada will soon have access to financial literacy curriculum thanks to the combined efforts of the Nevada Department of Education (NDE or Department), Bank of Nevada and First Independent Bank, and Green Our Planet. The educational partnership enables Nevada to become the first State in the nation to make a comprehensive financial literacy curriculum available to every student in grades K-12.
"Today, we celebrate Nevada's trailblazing work to bring financial literacy education to each and every one of our students, setting them up for success and removing barriers," said Jhone Ebert, State Superintendent of Public Instruction. "The new curriculum represents countless hours of work and collaboration between Nevada's experts in business, finance, and education, and further proves what is possible when our communities come together to provide the best for our students."
"It is essential that every student have access to financial literacy education, so they are informed before making major financial decisions as an adult," said John Guedry, division CEO, Bank of Nevada. "With many challenges facing our educational system, this is one way Nevada can better prepare students for their financial future."
A $300,000 donation from the Western Alliance Community Foundation - the charitable arm of Bank of Nevada and First Independent Bank, will fund the majority of an online financial literacy academy that can be accessed by public, private, charter and home-schooled students anywhere in the state. Bank of Nevada and First Independent Bank are divisions of Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC.
The web-based program will offer grade-specific financial literacy lessons and address the most essential personal finance topics that students will encounter in adulthood.
The Bank of Nevada funding will enable Green our Planet, operator of the largest and most comprehensive STEM school garden and hydroponics program in the country, to create 65 videos for educators and students to use. Several videos will be available at the beginning of the school year in August and will expand through the school year. The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) will make the videos available through the statewide Canvas system accessible to every Nevada teacher.
Additionally, NDE will be developing grade-specific testing procedures to measure the effectiveness of the curriculum, understand opportunities to improve student lessons and measure the progress of student groups over the years.
"At Green Our Planet we are excited to be able to engage students in hands-on entrepreneurship and financial literacy learning through teaching students how to turn their school gardens and hydroponics systems into farmers markets," says Ciara Byrne, Co-CEO and Co-Founder of Green Our Planet. "Essentially, we empower students to manage budgets and run a business with the goal of learning how to manage their own personal finances."
In 2017, the Nevada Legislature required that financial literacy education be made available to students between grades 3-12. With input from bankers at Bank of Nevada, Green Our Planet incorporated financial literacy curriculum in its school garden program with plans to expand the program to all students throughout the State.
Financial Literacy is included in Nevada Academic Content Standards (NVACs) for Social Studies for grades 3-12, and effective July 2022, economics and financial literacy will be a required course for Nevada high school students. NDE also offers several Financial Literacy Resources online, as well as an annual Financial Literacy Summit held in April for Educators, Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) Faculty and Students, and Community Stakeholders.
Now, with the addition of this online curriculum, each student will be able to progress at their own pace. Volunteer bankers and entrepreneurs will teach the financial literacy curriculum via the video library with opportunities for student/teacher interaction with the volunteer financial experts. The financial literacy video academy will prepare students for a wide range of financial decisions, including:
- Creating a household budget; financial responsibility
- Creating a personal financial plan and keeping financial records
- Saving, investing and retirement funds
- Understanding credit and the incurrence of debt; how creditors utilize credit reports
- Identify theft and fraud
- Understanding different types of insurance
- Taxes and how they are computed by local, state, and federal entities
- Creating a higher education plan and career choices; college preparedness; financial aid and scholarships
The donation made on behalf of Bank of Nevada is funded in memory of Chris Gaynor, a long-time Bank of Nevada employee. Gaynor was a board member and enthusiastic supporter of the Green Our Planet school garden program and witnessed the many benefits it provides to students. As a result, Gaynor initiated Green Our Planet's "Farmpreneur" program allowing 5th graders to create a garden-based business where they must analyze profits and losses, advertise their products and understand their customers. Farmpreneurs put their skills to the test by organizing and participating in the student farmer's market. Gaynor recently passed away but is responsible for Bank of Nevada's ongoing support of Green Our Planet.
A video containing three short clips used by Green Our Planet to illustrate financial literacy concepts can be found at: https://bit.ly/NevadaLiteracy
ABOUT THE NEVADA DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION
The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) leads and collaborates with Nevada's 17 school districts and the State Public Charter School Authority to advance educational equity Statewide. With offices in Carson City and Las Vegas, NDE oversees all pre-K-12 education in the State, working to achieve its mission to improve student achievement and educator effectiveness by ensuring opportunities, facilitating learning, and promoting excellence. Under the leadership of the State Board of Education and the Superintendent of Public Instruction, NDE impacts the achievement of nearly half a million children and 30,000 educators. Learn more at https://doe.nv.gov/
ABOUT BANK OF NEVADA
Bank of Nevada, a division of Western Alliance Bank, Member FDIC, helps business clients realize their ambitions. Founded in 1994, Bank of Nevada offers a full spectrum of loan, deposit and treasury management capabilities, plus superior service. With 10 offices in Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas and Mesquite, along with Western Alliance Bank's powerful array of specialized financial services, the banking division is a valued resource for Southern Nevada's business, real estate, professional, manufacturing, municipal, gaming and nonprofit communities. Western Alliance Bank is the primary subsidiary of Phoenix-based Western Alliance Bancorporation, with more than $60 billion in assets. Western Alliance is #2 best-performing of the 50 largest public U.S. banks in the S&P Global Market Intelligence listing for 2021 and ranks high year after year on the Forbes list of "America's Best Banks." For more information, visit Bank of Nevada online.