By: NVE Bank
It is never too early to equip children with information and guidance on how to save and manage money. As a leading community mutual bank, it is part of NVE’s mission to foster initiatives that help improve our fellow citizens’ quality of life and strengthen the neighborhoods where we live and work to ensure they remain healthy and strong. That is why we are so proud and excited to support New Jersey-based iPiggiBank’s efforts to provide children throughout Bergen County with money management education! The beauty of this type of education is that it can happen anywhere, and that’s exactly what iPiggiBank is proving through its Money Management 4 Kids program. We recently sat down with Founder and CEO Shara Nadler to get the scoop on what this amazing organization is all about.
NVE Bank: Please describe what iPiggiBank is and does.
Shara Nadler: iPiggiBank teaches younger students in Grade 1-6 how to manage their money through a curriculum and workshop called, Money Management 4 Kids. Only state certified teachers are hired and trained on iPiggiBank’s curriculum. Our teachers lead students in learning about smart money skills through hands-on activities that leverage art, writing, literacy and play.
Where do iPiggiBank’s programs take place?
iPiggiBank Money Management 4 Kids is available in public and private schools, after-school enrichment programs, clubs, camps and corporate settings.
Where do most of your students reside/go to school?
Our tailored program has reached over 1,000 students in urban, suburban and rural areas in public and private schools, as well as schools for students with special needs.
Do you have any favorite “success stories” that speak to the success of your programs?
Each iPiggiBank student is a success story because they have participated in learning critical money skills and are on the road to life-long healthy financial habits! After every workshop, students always ask, “Can you come back next week?” We love hearing that because it means that we have taken an important life skill and made it relatable and fun for kids.
In January, I was proud to receive an award from the Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership for bringing to market and scaling this amazing financial literacy program for kids. So, I think the whole program is a pretty great success story!
Are there shared challenges iPiggiBank students tend to have?
One of the great things about our audience is how diverse it is. Each student has a unique fingerprint that they bring to the class. It generates great group discussions about personal values around money, which provides even more learning for our students.
How did you connect with NVE Bank?
I read about NVE’s involvement in the community and reached out to the marketing department to introduce our work. There was an immediate connection and shared passion in teaching financial literacy to kids. With NVE’s support, iPiggiBank is able to provide an after-school program at Bergen Family Center in Englewood. Our partnership is making a notable impact in the community.
Are there circumstances unique to Bergen County or New Jersey as it applies to financial literacy/money management?
There are 19 States that require personal finance education in high school. New Jersey is one of them and allows the District to decide how to include it in the high school curriculum.
iPiggiBank focuses on younger students to build a strong financial foundation. Our intent for our students is that, by high school, they are ready to jump into more sophisticated content and conversations about investing, insurance, real estate, retirement and ‘real life’ financial decisions.
What is the biggest challenge posed by insufficient financial literacy/money management?
Most adults would give themselves a ‘D’ or an ‘F’ in personal finance, yet they pass their finance knowledge along to their children. We are perpetuating a broken system by not formally teaching financial literacy in school. iPiggiBank is doing our part to fix the broken system by delivering a premier curriculum for students in elementary and middle school.
How can people learn more about, and get involved with iPiggiBank’s programs?
There’s great information on how to bring iPiggiBank Money Management 4 Kids to your community via the website: www.ed.ipiggibank.com. Anyone interested can also contact us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there anything you’d like to add?
Yes, teaching kids financial literacy is a critical life skill. Sometimes families don’t know how or are uncomfortable (or even embarrassed) to talk about money. We’ve designed our materials to bridge classroom learning with home learning to encourage families to discuss this important topic together.