Money Savvy Youth

We envision that Oakland youth will have tools and knowledge that empower them to build healthy financial futures.

Money Savvy Youth financial education programMoney Savvy Youth is a five-week financial education course provided free by EBALDC in the Oakland public schools. Financial education is currently not a curriculum requirement in California schools. Meanwhile, growing consumer debt and decreasing savings among Americans have pointed to a more widespread need for financial education. We especially see this need among low- to moderate-income families, who have the most difficulty building assets, and we know that habits developed early can last a lifetime.

Our curriculum teaches basic financial concepts and skills through topics relevant to students and scenario-based activities. Some lessons include: saving for future goals, prioritizing between needs and wants and identifying the influences that shape attitudes toward money. The curriculum was developed to closely align with the California Common Core Standards at the 4th & 5th grade level.

Since the program’s inception in 2006, we have taught more than 3000 students in 22 Oakland public elementary schools. Analysis of our program data consistently shows that MSY has a positive impact on students’ knowledge, attitudes and behaviors toward money.

From MSY Partner Teachers:

“This was a very valuable practical math experience for my students which taught life skills for money management.”
“MSY was able to teach the hands-on part in math (the ‘real life’ situations).”

How We WorkOakland youth program
We work in partnership with schools, afterschool programs, and youth organizations to bring MSY lessons to Oakland youth. We currently have relationships with 22 public elementary schools in Oakland, representing roughly one-third of the elementary schools in the district.

We bring free financial education to your classroom by providing:

  • MSY curriculum
  • Materials and activities
  • Trained facilitators
  • 5 hrs of in-class teaching (once a week for 5 weeks)

If you are a 4th or 5th grade teacher in OUSD, a principal or run an after school program and are interested in partnering with us, please contact us!

Contact: Rosalyn Epstein (510) 287-5353 x 342


Here's what the students have to say about the program:

"I liked how they taught us about our future." -Naw

"They gave us a complete intro about money." Akhazetah

"I will save money forever." -Jose

"I liked that they taught us how to writ a plan and make a budget." Huy

"I like that MSY helps you think of what you're gonna do in your future" -Alan


Program Evaluation
As a results-based program, evaluation of program impact is very important to us. We conduct pre, post, and follow-up assessments to evaluate the degree to which students are learning and retaining knowledge, healthy financial behaviors, and confidence in their ability to manage money. We also ask teachers and parents to report any positive changes they witness, both in the classroom and at home.

In August 2012, a research study we completed in collaboration with the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and the University of California Cooperative Extension concluded that MSY has a positive impact on students knowledge, attitudes and behaviors toward money 3-6 months after the course was completed. The study was published in the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco Working Paper series in Community Development.

Oakland students with certificates

Program Support
Annie E. Casey Foundation
Bay Area Local Initiatives Support Coalition
Citi Community Development
Council for Economic Education (through funding from the United
States Department of Education Office of Innovation and Improvement)
FHL Bank of San Francisco
JP Morgan Chase
San Francisco Foundation
Wells Fargo
Y & H Soda Foundation