20 February 2015
Financial Literacy: An Important Objective

Since its founding in 1959, Nevada State Bank has encouraged its employees to donate their time to community groups in cities and towns throughout Nevada. Carrying on this proud tradition of service, bank employees donated more than 6,000 hours in 2014 helping 141 different organizations. They built houses with Habitat for Humanity, fed the homeless at the Las Vegas Rescue Mission, and raised funds to help non-profits like the American Heart Association fight disease. They participated in community cleanups like Keep Truckee Meadows Beautiful, served meals at the Veterans Guest House and Ronald McDonald House, and collected toys and clothing for needy children. But that’s only part of the story.

As a financial institution, one of Nevada State Bank’s primary goals is to increase financial literacy in the communities it serves. More than 155 bank employees spent nearly 4,000 hours in 2014 teaching students, at-risk individuals, and social service providers about the basics of handling money and credit. Here are just a few examples:

Banking on Your Future is a series of financial literacy modules created by the bank in 2001 to instruct young adults. Lessons include: setting goals; establishing and protecting a credit history and identity; the consumer loan process; reconciling a checking account; saving money; and applying and interviewing for a job. Employees from all departments in the bank learn the curriculum so they can teach lessons to Nevadans who are most in need of this valuable knowledge.

Since 2010, Nevada State Bank has partnered with The Shade Tree, a Las Vegas shelter for homeless, low-income, abused and/or threatened women. Bankers present Banking on Your Future lessons to residents every Thursday, helping them learn to manage their finances when they leave the shelter to rebuild their lives.

The Banking on Your Future lessons also help young adults in the court system. Nevada State Bank has partnered with the Clark County Youth Offender (YO) Specialty Court since 2010. Volunteers present financial literacy modules each week to defendants aged 18-24 who are participating in an 18-month program to help them return to sobriety. This program was so successful that the bank was asked to expand it to include defendants in the Habitual Offender Prevention and Education (H.O.P.E.) Specialty Court, which serves addicts 25 and older. A similar program was recently begun in northern Nevada through the Washoe County Specialty Courts. “Nevada State Bank helps people turn their lives around,” explained Drew Zidzik, Community Relations Manager for Nevada State Bank. “Our colleagues offer real-life scenarios and on-the-job situations they have encountered to make our material relevant to daily life. Our passion for a positive outcome is our reward.”

In order to reach even more individuals, Nevada State Bank sends out volunteers to train staff members from social service organizations so they can present the Banking on Your Future lessons to the clients they serve.

Teach Children to Save is a financial literacy program developed in collaboration with the Nevada Bankers Association.  Since 2010, volunteers from Nevada State Bank have participated in teaching this curriculum in grades K thru 8, with age-appropriate lessons on how and why to save money, how to spend wisely, and how to tell the difference between needs and wants. In addition to volunteering in local classrooms, Nevada State Bank volunteers also teach the lessons to members of the Girl Scouts of Southern Nevada. The Girl Scouts even collaborated with the bank to develop and create a Nevada State Bank Financial Literacy badge, awarded to each girl who completes a Teach Children To Save lesson.

For older students, Get Smart About Credit is another collaborative program with the Nevada Bankers Association. It’s designed to teach the basics of credit to students in grades 9 through 12, with lessons focused on how to use credit wisely, avoid unnecessary borrowing, and help prevent identity theft.

“Nevada State Bank’s ongoing commitment to financial literacy has many long-term benefits for the communities in which we do business, live and work,” explained Zidzik. “By encouraging our colleagues to teach students and adults about the basics of money management, we not only help the individuals who are learning the lessons, but we also increase the overall level of financial literacy in Nevada.”

For more information about Nevada State Bank’s financial literacy efforts, click here or call 702-706-9031.

 

The information provided is presented for general informational purposes only and does not constitute tax, legal or business advice.

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