DALLAS, March 10, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Dallas-based PlainsCapital Bank has renewed a $25,000 grant to the Texas Council on Economic Education (TCEE) to support a financial literacy program for Texas middle school students. The grant ensures that the program, developed by TCEE in 2012 and funded by PlainsCapital, will continue to be available to teachers and schools throughout the state. The program covers topics such as saving, budgeting, credit and financial responsibility.
"Kids need to learn important money lessons early," said Pete Villarreal, chief administrative officer for PlainsCapital Bank. "This program helps teach practical life skills – how to open a bank account and balance a checkbook, how to save money to reach goals, how credit cards work, and if you borrow money, how much you need to earn to pay it back. Exposure is key. The earlier we can instill good financial habits in kids, the better the outcome."
Villarreal said PlainsCapital Bank's commitment to improving financial literacy in Texas was the driver in partnering with TCEE four years ago to develop a program for seventh- and eighth-grade students that incorporated financial literacy education with math and social studies curriculums.
"We're building a foundation here," said Laura Ewing, president and CEO of TCEE. "Students need to learn the principles of personal finance well before high school, and they need to be armed with a basic understanding of money management before being sent out into the world to earn a living. These classes make a difference."
Financial education varies widely by state. Studies show states with more strenuous standards get graduates off to a better financial start in life. Since 2000, Texas has made personal financial coursework a requisite for high school graduation. In 2014, the Texas Education Agency (TEA) took the added step of implementing financial literacy mathematics standards for kindergarten through eighth-grade students, known as the Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards.
The program is a free resource for any public or private middle school in Texas needing financial literacy materials to incorporate into its curriculum.
In 2015, TCEE reported that 729 middle school teachers had downloaded the lessons, sharing them with 8,137 other teachers and impacting 477,254 students.
Ewing is a firm supporter of weaving financial literacy through the education system. "All learning is cumulative," she said. "The earlier we introduce these financial skills to kids, the stronger of a foundation we can build."
Villarreal sits on the board of TCEE and is actively involved in PlainsCapital's financial literacy initiatives. A strong proponent of financial education in general, Villarreal points out what he believes to be the broader implication.
"A better understanding of one's personal finances as a result of economic education can help make financial mistakes less common. Smarter spending, saving and investing contributes to a healthier economy."
Headquartered in Houston, Texas, Texas Council on Economic Education is a statewide nonprofit organization that provides grade appropriate programs related to economics, personal finance and entrepreneurship. All TCEE programs are available to any Texas teacher. Find more information at www.economicstexas.org.
About PlainsCapital Bank
Dallas-based PlainsCapital Bank, the sixth largest Texas-headquartered bank by deposit market share, operates more than 67 Texas branches and has more than 1,200 employees providing highly personalized relationship banking through a single point of contact. Offering commercial lending, treasury management, small business banking, private banking, and trust and wealth management services, PlainsCapital Bank empowers responsive, local decision making in each of its major markets: Austin, Corpus Christi, Dallas, El Paso, Fort Worth, Houston, Laredo, Lubbock, the Rio Grande Valley and San Antonio. PlainsCapital Bank is part of the PlainsCapital Corporation family of companies. PlainsCapital Corporation is a wholly owned subsidiary of Hilltop Holdings (NYSE: HTH). Find more information at www.plainscapital.com. Source: June 2015 SNL Financial
SOURCE PlainsCapital Bank