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Commonwealth Bank Foundation offers $350,000 for 100 Financial Literacy Grants to secondary schools

3 August 2005

The Commonwealth Bank Foundation is again inviting all Australian secondary schools to apply for one of 100 Financial Literacy Grants valued at $3,500, to promote the development of students’ financial literacy skills.

The Commonwealth Bank Foundation Financial Literacy Grants program, now in its second year, encourages schools to teach financial literacy in a credible and enjoyable way.

The need for the Financial Literacy Grants was reinforced by the findings of national research*, which showed that, as a result of poor money management skills, young people may suffer from a greater rate of unemployment, a lower income and are more likely to struggle with paying bills.

The grants have been developed by the Commonwealth Bank Foundation in consultation with Business Educators Australasia (BEA), a peak organisation for professional teacher associations that support business education. The total annual value of the grants provided by the Foundation is $350,000.

CEO of the Commonwealth Bank and Chairman of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation, David Murray, said feedback from schools indicated that the program was highly effective in teaching students about money management.

"Learning how to manage money is a life skill often acquired by trial and error. As a result of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation’s 2004 Financial Literacy Grants program, 98 schools in Australia (two schools were awarded two grants) have introduced impressive initiatives about how to teach students to manage their money with confidence."

The type of program a school can suggest to implement with a $3,500 Financial Literacy Grant is endless. In 2004, for example, one school introduced a real life simulation program that allows students to develop practical financial skills. Another school developed an interactive financial literacy forum that can be accessed through the school intranet.

Grants are open to all secondary schools and each school may submit up to two applications, provided each application is distinctive in terms of initiative. Target students may be any, all, or a combination of Years 7 to 12.

Secondary schools in the Government, Independent and Catholic sectors are eligible to apply online. Details and criteria of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation Financial Literacy Grants are available at commbank.com.au/financialliteracygrants

Online applications close Friday 9 September 2005, 11pm EST, with successful schools announced Tuesday 18 October 2005.

ENDS

*Improving financial literacy in Australia: Benefits for the individual and the nation. A Commonwealth Bank Foundation Study into the economic and social impacts of financial literacy in Australia.

 

2004 Financial Literacy Grant case studies

Duval High School
Armidale, NSW
'Sense with your Dollars – A workbook to improve financial literacy'

Duval High School is a comprehensive government High School located in Armidale, northern New South Wales. It has an enrolment of 800 students. The grant-winning program targeted Year 8 students who selected an elective titled ‘Sense with your dollars’. A booklet covering basic financial areas to be used in Year 9 Commerce and in Mathematics was developed.

Alexandra Hills State High School
Alexandra Hills, QLD
'Badger Badges – Alexandra Hills Small Business'

Alexandra Hills State High School is located in Brisbane and has an enrolment of 1400 students from multicultural backgrounds. The trade and business mathematics students developed a small business to help develop sound financial literacy skills. The concept for the business was initiated by the students – many of whom had low literacy and numeracy skills and low self-esteem. The program enabled students to control decisions related to costs, research, and communication within a financial and business setting.

Australind Senior High School
Australind, WA
'The Richest Kid in School – Making Money Work for You'

Australind Senior High School located in Western Australia’s south west is a large senior High School that proposed to present a short course option to Year 11 and 12 students over a 5 week period. The course was designed for students who were becoming financially independent from their parents. The program used a simulation game encouraging students to place a real value on planning their finances. Students were given roles, provided with challenges and encouraged to make decisions. Outcomes were designed to meet the WA curriculum framework objectives that assisted students to develop financial management skills relating to budgeting and planning.

For more information about the Commonwealth Bank Foundation, please visit www.commbank.com.au/foundation

For further information, case studies or a media interview please contact:

Bryan Fitzgerald
Communication, Community and Reputation (CCR)
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Tel 02 9378 2663

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