ABA Foundation programs call for banker volunteers to join growing, industry-wide efforts designed to help local communities

The American Bankers Association Foundation last week launched its 2019 financial education registration campaign, calling on banker volunteers from across the country to register for a range of successful, industry-wide programs designed to enhance financial education in their local communities. The first ABA Foundation initiative in 2019 is Teach Children to Save.

The Teach Children to Save program is a national campaign launched in 1997 that encourages bankers to visit schools or youth groups in their local communities and present savings lessons. Teach Children to Save also includes lesson plans that teach students what banks do, how they support local communities and what skills are needed to be a banker.  Last year, approximately 12,500 bankers taught more than 15,000 lessons across the country.

Teach Children to Save Day will be celebrated on April 12, but bankers can hold their lessons throughout the year.

Registered bankers will receive real-time customer support, program and communication materials, and will be featured in a list of participating banks on the ABA Foundation’s website.

“Early introduction and continued exposure to financial education can yield lifelong benefits,” Erica Opstad, senior vice president, national manager, community relations, U.S. Bank and chair of the ABA Foundation Board of Directors. “The resources provided by the Foundation allow bankers to implement these programs and lessons in the local community with ease. It’s a great way to reinforce these invaluable life skills, and I know my colleagues take pride in doing so.”

When registering for Teach Children to Save, bankers are encouraged to register for the ABA Foundation’s other 2019 financial education initiatives:

• Get Smart About Credit, now in its 17th year, is a campaign of volunteer bankers who visit classrooms across the country to help teens and young adults learn how to use credit wisely. Bankers also teach students about protecting their identity, managing their money, paying for college and the various careers available to them through the banking industry. Although Get Smart About Credit Day is celebrated in October, bankers are encouraged to also give lessons throughout the year

• Safe Banking for Seniors. Launched in 2015, this national campaign of volunteer bankers helps older customers and their financial caregivers understand and mitigate the risks of fraud and financial abuse.

Curriculum for all three programs are available in both English and Spanish.

In 2018, the ABA Foundation launched FinEdLink – a free web tool designed to connect community groups and schools with local bank volunteers available for a visit. Groups interested in having a banker make a presentation on Teach Children to Save, Get Smart About Credit or Safe Banking for Seniors can simply submit the request at aba.com/FinEdLink. The web tool will pair the requester with a bank volunteer in the local area. To learn more about FinEdLink and how to register, visit aba.com/FinEdLink.

“We knew there was significant demand for financial education in local communities and countless bankers ready and willing to help,” said Corey Carlisle, executive director of the ABA Foundation. “It was just a matter of making these connections. That’s why we’re thrilled to launch FinEdLink and remove any obstacles standing in the way of bringing financial lessons to communities across the country.”

Since 1997, the ABA Foundation’s financial education initiatives have reached 10.5 million young people with the help of more than 260,000 banker volunteers. The ABA Foundation encourages bankers across the country to participate in these industry-wide initiatives in addition to individual financial education and philanthropic efforts carried out every year by America’s banks.

This year, the ABA Foundation’s financial education programming will be sponsored by BB&T, Citi, FiServ, JPMorgan Chase, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo.

Interested banks should register at aba.com/FinEd or call 1-800-BANKERS for more information.

The American Bankers Association is the voice of the nation’s $17 trillion banking industry, which is composed of small, midsize, regional and large banks that together employ more than 2 million people, safeguard $13 trillion in deposits and extend nearly $10 trillion in loans. Through its leadership, partnerships, and national programs, ABA’s Community Engagement Foundation (dba ABA Foundation), a 501(c)3, helps bankers provide financial education to individuals at every age, elevate issues around affordable housing and community development, and achieve corporate social responsibility objectives to improve the well-being of their customers and their communities.

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