Media Contact:Karla Schuster
Axinn Library 037B
Send an E-mail
Date: May 14, 2012
Hofstra University & Capital One Bank Team Up to Teach Money Management Skills to Children
“Money & Me” Program reached more than 1,700 L.I. students in first year
Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY – Fifth-grader Gabriel Lazo doesn’t have a bank account yet, but he knows how to write a check. He doesn’t have a credit card, but he knows when he gets one, he should pay off the balance in full every month.
That’s because for the last two months, Gabriel and his classmates at Drexel Avenue Elementary School in Westbury have been participating in a financial literacy program sponsored by Hofstra University and Capital One Bank called “Money & Me”.
Taught by Hofstra business and education students, the program was launched in several Long Island school districts in the fall of 2011, and has served more than 1,700 fourth-and fifth-graders so far. The curriculum, designed by Hofstra and Capital One, teaches basic money management concepts and skills.
So it was no surprise that several hands shot up when Hofstra senior Alex Schultz recently asked Gabriel’s class to explain the difference between a debit card and a credit card.
“A debit card is your money,” 11-year-ol d Gabriel said. “A credit card is the bank’s money.”
Gabriel’s two instructors, Alex, a finance major in the Frank G. Zarb School of Business, and Jennifer Fabian, a Hofstra alum from New Hyde Park who is now studying for her master’s degree in business education, say they were continually surprised by how quickly their charges absorbed concepts that sometimes stymie adults.
“These are really difficult concepts and to me that they can grasp this stuff is really amazing,” Schultz said. “You can see the light bulbs go off when they get it.”
Fabian said she’s gotten as much out of the program as her students. “It’s been incredibly rewarding for me,” she said.
Capital One Bank's Long Island Market President, Andrew Corrado, and Zarb School of Business Assistant Dean Gioia Bales visited Westbury's Drexel Avenue School to see the program firsthand.
“It’s never too early to start teaching kids about money management,” Corrado said. “This is really a building block for them.”
Said Bales: “We’re so proud of our students, and of this partnership with Capital One, because community service is a fundamental part of our mission at Hofstra, and at Zarb.”
The “Money & Me” program includes eight interactive lessons that teach students basic financial skills involving managing savings and checking accounts, creating budgets, credit reports and debit cards. Besides Westbury, the districts that participated in the first year were: Brentwood, Center Islip, Freeport, Hempstead and Uniondale.
“The earlier you learn this, the better,” said Wanda Toledo, principal of Drexel Avenue Elementary School. “It’s a core value you have to learn from a young age – that you have to work hard and save your money, that you have to think about your future.”
Capital One Bank
Capital One Financial Corporation, headquartered in McLean, Virginia, is a Fortune 500 company with approximately 1,000 branch locations primarily in New York, New Jersey, Texas, Louisiana, Maryland, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. Its subsidiaries, Capital One, N.A. and Capital One Bank (USA), N. A., offer a broad spectrum of financial products and services to consumers, small businesses and commercial clients. We apply the same principles of innovation, collaboration and empowerment in our commitment to our communities across the country that we do in our business. We recognize that helping to build strong and healthy communities - good places to work, good places to do business and good places to raise families - benefits us all and we are proud to support this and other community initiatives.
Hofstra University is a dynamic private institution of higher education where more than 12,000 full and part-time students choose from undergraduate and graduate offerings in liberal arts and sciences, business, communication, education, health and human services, honors studies, a School of Engineering and Applied Science, a School of Law and the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine.