Money Savvy Youth: Evaluating the Effectiveness of Financial Education for Fourth and Fifth Graders


Charles G. Go and Karen Varcoe, University of California Cooperative Extension, Tina Eng and Wilson Pho, East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation, and Laura Choi, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

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July 1, 2012

While there are studies on the impact of financial education on teens, there is a lack of research on programs targeted at elementary school-aged youth. To address this gap, we evaluated the effectiveness of Money Savvy Youth (MSY), a financial education program for fourth and fifth graders, developed by the East Bay Asian Local Development Corporation. MSY training was delivered in the classroom once a week over the course of five weeks during the 2011-2012 school year, and targeted a diverse and primarily low-income student population attending public schools in the Oakland Unified School District in Oakland, California. Based on pre-test, posttest, and follow-up test analyses, we found that students who participated in the MSY program demonstrated an increase in financial knowledge and self-reported positive financial behaviors.