Bob Daino, President and CEO of WCNY, talks about the importance of working together to bring new educational opportunities to our community during the ProLiteracy financial literacy event on August 4, 2015.
ProLiteracy, the largest adult literacy and basic education membership organization in the United States, is helping local high school students learn the financial literacy skills they need to make good day-to-day decisions regarding money. The project is made possible with a $15,000 contribution from AT&T Aspire and will benefit over 300 students.
ProLiteracy has partnered with WCNY Public Media to utilize its Enterprise America simulated city of 14 businesses and a City Hall. Students use the skills they are learning to run the businesses. This new project builds on the Enterprise America program by enhancing financial literacy activities to young adults entering or soon to be entering the job market, and facing the challenges of money — opening bank accounts, paying bills, applying for loans, launching start-ups, and more.
Upon completion of the program, each participating high school student is given a money management book, Control Your Money, which is designed to assist learners in important financial situations. Students also get one free download of a companion mobile app and a summary guide on how to best utilize the provided resources.
“We are excited to be able to provide resources that are designed to help students build fundamental math skills by employing real-life financial applications,” says Kevin Morgan, president and CEO of ProLiteracy. “There is a significant need for students to improve math and financial literacy skills for high school graduation. Math is a key area of weakness and the resulting lack of financial literacy causes long-term problems for today’s youth and young adults.”
The support for this financial literacy initiative is part of AT&T Aspire, the company’s
$350 million commitment to education. With more than 1 million students impacted since its launch in 2008, Aspire is one of the nation’s largest corporate commitments focused on high school success and workforce readiness. The program creates new learning environments and educational delivery systems to help students succeed and prepare them to take on 21st century careers.
“AT&T is proud to join this dynamic partnership with ProLiteracy and WCNY that will positively impact young lives in our community and better prepare them for future success,” says Kevin Hanna, AT&T regional director of external affairs. “The work that these organizations do locally is phenomenal, and we are excited to be part of this new partnership to increase the financial literacy skills of young adults in the community.”
“WCNY is committed to providing Central New York young adults with hands-on, real-world educational experiences to prepare them for future careers,” says Robert J. Daino, president and CEO of WCNY. “We’re excited to partner with ProLiteracy and AT&T to enable WCNY to deliver even more dynamic educational programming for area teenagers.”
ProLiteracy believes every adult has the right to literacy. ProLiteracy, the largest adult literacy and basic education membership organization in the nation, is committed to creating a world in which all adults are literate. ProLiteracy has 1,000 member programs in all 50 states and the District of Columbia and works with 52 nongovernmental organizations in 34 developing countries. For more information about ProLiteracy, please visit www.proliteracy.org
WCNY is Central New York’s public media organization. As the public voice for Central New York, WCNY’s mission is to connect with and give back to the community by inspiring, educating, and entertaining the public with programming that encourages a deep appreciation for diversity and shared humanity. Enterprise America is an entrepreneurial, financial, civic, and STEM program offered at WCNY that helps young people explore a variety of job opportunities while teaching skills required for successful employment. It is the only program of its kind in New York State. For more information about WCNY, please visit www.wcny.org
About Philanthropy and Social Innovation at AT&T
AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities, and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities, promote academic and economic achievement, or address community needs. In 2013, more than $130 million was contributed or directed through corporate, employee, social investment, and AT&T Foundation-giving programs. AT&T Aspire is AT&T’s signature education initiative that drives innovation in education by bringing diverse resources to bear on the issue including funding, technology, employee volunteerism, and mentoring. For more information about AT&T, please visit about.att.com
Financial Literacy Facts
- More than 36 million American adults struggle to read, write, and do basic math.
- Low literacy leads to difficulty understanding mortgage documents, bank statements, and credit card agreements, and may make people more vulnerable to questionable lending practices and risky financial behavior.
- 57 percent of women with low literacy do not know what their credit score is.
- 38 percent of high school seniors say that they are unprepared or unsure of how to manage their own banking and personal finances.
- 38 percent of parents will help their students set up a bank account.
- In a 2013 survey, 64 percent of young adults said they learned about spending in high school, 49 percent learned about borrowing, and only 23 percent learned about financial protection (i.e. emergency fund, identity theft).
- 44 percent of students planning to take out student loans for college say that they have either not discussed, or only had a brief conversation, with their parents about how student loans work.
- 37 percent of first-year college students said that finances are a significant source of stress.
- 70 percent of first-year college students either currently have student loans or plan to borrow before they finish school.
- 36 percent of recent college graduates said they had to live with their parents longer than expected.
Capital One, “As High School Graduates Open their Gifts, Parents Have Key Opportunity to Talk Money Management,” June 14, 2011; American Express, “Back-to-School Gadget Buys Are Up, Though Kids Still Need Pencils to Chew On,” August 20, 2013; CreditDonkey.com, “Survey: Financial Literacy Statistics,” July 3, 2013; Inceptia, “First-Year College Students Score Poorly in Basic Financial Literacy,” January 22, 2013; College Savings Foundation, “College Savings Foundation Survey Shows Delay in Life Milestones for Recent College Graduates,” May 23, 2012,