Bank of Nevada supports the efforts of the nonprofit group Green Our Planet, a Las Vegas based non-profit that runs the largest and most comprehensive school garden program in the United States.
Green Our Planet has transformed a garden from simply being a place to grow fruits and vegetables into an outdoor, interactive classroom. As part of the STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math) curriculum that accompanies the garden, students learn the science behind what it takes for plants to grow, which plants are well-suited to southern Nevada soil, and most importantly, how fruits and vegetables are an essential part of a healthy and balanced diet.
After being introduced to Green Our Planet at the Business + Education (BE) Engaged event, Bank of Nevada was the first financial institution to join Green Our Planet in support of the student farmers market concept.
Since that time, Green Our Planet has built over 150 gardens on school campuses in the Clark County School District. The majority of gardens, about 80 percent, are constructed at Title 1 schools — meaning schools where the majority of students receive free or reduced-price lunch. In many areas of Las Vegas, parents of Title 1 schoolchildren hold two or three jobs trying to make ends meet, and many live paycheck to paycheck. It is in this environment that Bank of Nevada joined with Green Our Planet to expand the nonprofit’s “STEAM Garden Curriculum” to include financial literacy.
Bank of Nevada piloted the financial literacy program at five (5) Las Vegas area elementary schools. Bank volunteers provided classroom lessons illustrating how banks help a community grow. Additional discussions included “wants versus needs,” the importance of entrepreneurs, how to write a business plan, measuring profit, customer service, and creating a “Plan B” that would allow them to sell items even if their harvest did not turn out as planned.
The financial literacy curriculum has expanded to all fifth-grade classes to help them successfully sell the items grown on school grounds at a live farmers market. All funds received by each school at the farmers market are reinvested in that school’s garden program, which helps to sustain that school’s program.
Bank of Nevada won the 2018 Community Commitment for Financial Education award for its involvement with the Green Our Planet program.