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Sonoma Valley Kids Get Financial Education


Sonoma Valley Kids Get Financial Education

Sonoma Valley’s Sassarini Elementary School students pose for a photo after successfully completing the five-week Operation HOPE Banking on Our Future financial program. They are joined by (Far Left) Boys & Girls Club Program Assistant at Sassarini Yvette Hernandez, Union Bank Senior Community Relations Officer Molly Fedorchak, Branch Manager Robin Gold and (Far Right) Boys & Girls Club Program Director at Sassarini Katie Welch.

As part of its ongoing commitment to financial education, Union Bank partnered with nonprofit Operation HOPE and Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley to teach its seventh group of elementary students about the basics of personal finance. Held at Sassarini Elementary School for the first time, the Banking on Our Future was taught by Union Bank volunteers Molly Fedorchak and Robin Gold. The five-week course began in March and culminated with a recognition ceremony to celebrate the students’ completion of the program on April 27.

The Banking on Our Future curriculum features the Basics of Budgeting, Get Smart About Banking (Checking and Saving Accounts), Fundamentals of Credit, and Introduction to Savings and Investing, as well as “A Course in Dignity.” Each week students learned practical lessons by using hands-on calculations and real-world examples.

“We are proud to work together with Union Bank and Operation HOPE to bring the Banking on Our Future curriculum to students at our Club,” said Boys & Girls Clubs of Sonoma Valley Chief Executive Officer Robert Hughes. “These lessons are building blocks for a strong financial future.”

“On the last day of the course, it’s always interesting to hear the kids share a financial concept they’ve learned during the session,” said Union Bank Vice President and Senior Community Relations Officer Molly Fedorchak. “Working with the team at the Sonoma Valley Boys & Girls Club at Sassarini Elementary School was enjoyable and we can’t wait to teach our next class.”

Since 2011, Union Bank has partnered with Operation HOPE at a dozen Boys & Girls Clubs, reaching more than 300 youth.

“The need for personal financial education is greater than ever,” Operation HOPE Youth Empowerment Program Manager Brenda Johnson said. “The Banking on Our Future program is a great way for students to learn about finance with age-appropriate lessons. We hope to help them make responsible financial choices in the future.”

Banking on Our Future was designed to elevate the dignity, hope, and economic self- sufficiency of people in low-wealth communities through financial empowerment. Since its inception, the program has reached more than 790,000 students in more than 700 schools and community-based organizations in the U.S. and South Africa.