What is One Million Kids?
You might be surprised to know that the Commonwealth Bank has been teaching kids financial skills for over 80 years. Since then, a few things have changed, in particular the learning behaviour of kids and our complex world of finances.
We've altered our educational programs to suit this changing environment, along with the goals we'd like to achieve, too. In fact, we're investing over $40 million to improve the financial literacy of one million kids by 2015. This target focuses on the number of kids registered for the Commonwealth Bank Foundation’s StartSmart workshops. Other key initiatives such as our School Banking program and Coinland website reinforce many of the principles and lessons we teach kids about money.
Our $40 million investment is focused across a range of initiatives specifically developed for every school stage, and collectively managed as the One Million Kids commitment.
You can find out more about our various financial literacy programs by exploring this site.
The Student Banking Program was introduced to schools Australia-wide. In 1932, a School Banking machine was unveiled at Wirrawee Public School, Sydney. This machine was handmade and was the first of its kind.
The Dollarmites Club was introduced to appeal to kids under 12 years. During the first year, almost 290,000 accounts were opened and $18 million was deposited.
Although we've been teaching kids about money for some time with programs such as School Banking, we took financial education one step further by creating the Commonwealth Bank Foundation, established specifically to encourage developments in education, in particular to build the financial literacy of young Australians.
The Commonwealth Bank Foundation partnered with Monash University and the Ipsos-Eureka Strategic Research Institute to measure the financial literacy of Australians. The results highlighted the importance of continued investment in grass roots financial literacy programs.
During the same year, the Foundation began offering Financial Literacy Grants to secondary schools to help develop the financial skills of teenagers. Each year, 100 grants of $3,500 were awarded to schools that proposed an effective, innovative and relevant financial education program for consideration.
The Australian Financial Literacy Assessment (AFLA) was a tool for teachers to develop and assess students' skills in financial literacy and to identify students' individual financial literacy strengths and weaknesses.
The assessment was designed to help schools measure students' learning, competency and understanding of financial literacy and identify improvements in these areas over time. It was made available by the Foundation for the first time in 2005 through to 2008 at no cost to students in Years 9-10 throughout Australia.
The highly successful StartSmart program was introduced by the Commonwealth Bank Foundation. Since then, over 600,000 students have participated in StartSmart, making it the largest school-based financial literacy program of its kind in the world.
The Foundation’s StartSmart program was extended to primary school-aged children. Aligned with state curricula, it teaches children practical skills to manage their money.
We launched Coinland, a virtual world where children can learn about the benefits of earning, saving and investing money by undertaking a series of tasks, designed to help them develop strong financial literacy skills.
The Commonwealth Bank Foundation commissioned research to look again at the financial literacy of the nation. Financial literacy helps us to make effective decisions about earning, spending, borrowing and saving and the results provided timely insights for us all to build from.
The Commonwealth Bank Foundation was awarded with a 2010 Australian Business Award for Innovation in recognition of the development of the StartSmart Primary program.
The Commonwealth Bank was awarded the inaugural Cannex Canstar ‘Best Value Australia Youth Banking and Education Award’, for our commitment to School Banking and financial education.
For the second year in a row, the Commonwealth Bank was awarded the inaugural Cannex Canstar ‘Best Value Australia Youth Banking and Education Award’, for our commitment to School Banking and financial education.
Our Commonwealth Bank Foundation Teaching Awards were launched to celebrate and recognise teachers who are developing the money management skills of Australian students. The Foundation awarded 15 teachers with $10,000 to invest in their innovative financial literacy project and $2000 each as a personal reward.
The Commonwealth Bank Foundation was presented with an ‘Outstanding Achievement in the Schools category’ at the MoneySmart Week Awards.
School Banking reached a milestone of over 200,000 students participating in the program.
StartSmart is a Commonwealth Bank Foundation initiative that offers school kids a guided approach to learning about money in the classroom. The program is fully funded by the Foundation and has been developed in consultation with education experts. It's also aligned with the school curricula.