More than a decade ago, a Montecito, Calif. community bank began participating in a yearly tradition called Teach Children to Save Day. In partnership with schools, the institution helps ground pupils in money-saving habits. The bank later built on this success, launching a new year-round program called Banking on Our Youth. The bank teams with schools and area non-profits to present economics and marketing classes, a Get Smart About Credit program, and bilingual instruction for parents.
This serves as but one example of community banks nationwide “going the extra mile” to help grade and high school students begin preparing for the increasingly complex financial world they will enter. Those efforts pay off. In two Arizona towns, a bank's financial literacy work helped student assessment test scores soar 70 percent.
Here are four additional examples of community banks teaming with area schools and other stakeholders to enhance the financial literacy of today’s youth.
- Allison Bartels, compliance officer at Leaders Bank in Oak Brook, Ill., teaches money management fundamentals, including saving, banking and budgeting for the future to students at many Chicago-area schools.
- CCB Community Bank in Andalusia, Ala. has brought an online financial literacy program to area grade and high schools. Called Bonzai, the program replicates a video game, delivering budgeting and saving lessons in fun, interactive ways.
- Nicholl Doggett, AVP Mortgage Lending at Leaders Bank, works with the organization Empowerment through Education and Exposure (EEE) to help Chicago high school students better grasp concepts like loans, types of bank accounts and the reasons for saving money.
- Massachusetts-based Blue Hills Bank produced a musical play that travels to area K-5 classrooms, teaching kids about sticking to a money management plan.
By imparting financial skills to grade and high school youngsters today, community banks are helping forge a more financially literate society for tomorrow.
What one financial skill do you wish you had mastered back in grade or high school?
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