• Wells Fargo partners with SLPS

    Wells Fargo Partnership

    GegiMara Ra-El and Laraine Davis
    GegiMara Ra-El, social studies curriculum specialist for St. Louis Public Schools, and Laraine Davis, community development vice president for Wells Fargo.
    Photo by Wiley Price

    Posted: Wednesday, October 30, 2013 8:20 pm

    By Shelly Shepard | 0 comments

    In a first for the program, Wells Fargo’s Hands on Banking is partnering with a metropolitan school district to use its curriculum as a source of financial education for students.

    In conjunction with the Missouri Council on Economic Education, a nonprofit that promotes economic and financial education in the state’s schools, Wells Fargo’s Hands on Banking course for teens will be incorporated into social studies classes at 11 St. Louis public middle schools.

    Wells Fargo Community Development Vice President Laraine Davis, who orchestrated the partnership, said it “took tremendous trust and teamwork among Wells Fargo, the school district and the council to achieve this groundbreaking collaboration.”

    Mike English, president and CEO of the Missouri Council on Economic Education, said, “The district had a need for financial training, and I saw Hands on Banking as a good fit to integrate into the social studies curriculum. And the online Hands on Banking training is so well done that it will really keep the kids engaged.”

    The State of Missouri requires all students to pass a high school personal finance class to graduate. This requirement, English said, leads him to believe that the Hands on Banking program would be a good fit for schools throughout the state.

    Davis said that English worked to imbed the Hands on Banking material into the school curriculum, which will make things much easier for the teachers. She also worked with Georin LaGrant, a senior securities operations specialist with Wells Fargo Advisors, on getting the district’s buy-in.

    “Georin volunteers with the school district and knows some of the administrators, and he was of tremendous value to the process,” Davis said.

    Wells Fargo and the council hosted a workshop on Aug. 7 in St. Louis at the Wells Fargo Advisors campus for about 45 teachers. Davis said that the workshop stressed that the goal is for teachers and students to use the knowledge outside the classroom, as well.

    “I heard positive feedback from several of the teachers, many who said that the classes would be helpful for their church group or scouts, too,” Davis said. “We also introduced them to Hands on Banking for seniors and the military, to show them how extensive the curriculum is.”

    “I’m so excited about infusing this material into our middle schools,” English said. “It will help lay a great foundation for students as they grow and have an increasing need for financial knowledge.”

    GegiMara Ra-El, social studies curriculum specialist for St. Louis Public District, said, “Quality of life is substantially influenced by an individual’s level of financial literacy. By teaching our students to manage money effectively, we are equipping them with the tools they need to make informed decisions.”

    Hands on Banking provides free financial education resources for kids, teens, adults, entrepreneurs, seniors and the military. In 2012, about 2,800 team members volunteered, reaching just over 153,000 people in schools and community centers across the U.S. For more information, visit www.handsonbanking.org.