Eight Widener Law students spent several days last week teaching financial literacy classes to children enrolled at the Latin American Community Center in downtown Wilmington.
The program was made possible by a generous gift from Bank of America and targeted children in kindergarten through sixth grade with messages intended to teach them to be responsible money managers. The goal was to impress upon the children the importance of saving and spending wisely so they avoid running up big debts as young adults.
“I think that it was really a positive experience both for the kids and the law students,” said Widener Law student Ashley Gorodetzer, the program coordinator, adding, “A lot of law students don’t get the opportunity to be around kids. It’s really easy to lose sight of what is important.” The law students used arts and crafts projects to help engage the students and teach them lessons about financial issues ranging from the simple counting of change for the younger students to credit issues and predatory lending for the older students. “The kids were so appreciative. Everyday they would come up at the end and give us big hugs. The simplest little thing makes such a difference to these kids,” noted Ashley with satisfaction.
The Widener students were placed in this role through the Law School’s Public Interest Resource Center,
which links students with public service opportunities. Bank of America’s gift to the program allowed the law students to receive a stipend for their teaching duties. The program ran during the week of Aug. 11.
PIRC Director Dr. Sydney Howe-Barksdale said the program looked at financial planning, goal setting and fundamental math skills. “We hope that teaching these youngsters the basic building blocks of personal finance through child-centered fun activities will lay the groundwork for them to grow into responsible consumers,” she said.
Law students involved in the effort included Ashley Gorodetzer, Brian Dunlop, Dom Del Pino, Jenny Hou, Betsey Smith, Cordell Fields, Matt Spataro, Matt Magnotta, and Rashid Santiago.
Students interested in participating in next year’s program should contact the Public Interest Resource Center