The Virginia Bankers Association and banks across Virginia will join government agencies, educational institutions, trade associations, corporations and sponsors of education programs to promote Financial Literacy Month throughout the month of April 2018.
Bankers’ main focus this month is Teach Children to Save (TCTS). Teach Children to Save is an annual awareness program through which bankers demonstrate their community commitment by teaching young people about the value of saving. Visiting classrooms, youth centers and after-school programs, bankers use their real-world knowledge and professional skills to encourage young people to start saving at a young age.
This year, bankers will visit elementary school classrooms on April 20, the nationally celebrated Teach Children to Save Day. In its 21st year, TCTS has reached 9.1 million young people through the commitment of more than 225,000 banker volunteers.
Virginia bankers will carry out TCTS presentations throughout the state, incorporating games and activities into real life lessons focusing on the concept of saving, how interest makes money grow, how to create a budget and how to differentiate between needs and wants. Bankers will also be presenting lesson plans to educate youth on the wide-variety of exciting professions available within the banking industry. Banker presentations, such as those carried out during Financial Literacy Month, play an important role in helping students understand personal finance topics. Last year, 300 Virginia bankers made presentations and reached 11,200 students across the Commonwealth through the Teach Children to Save program.
While April is a great time to focus on financial literacy, bankers don’t just visit classrooms in April; they participate in other financial literacy events throughout the year:
- Get Smart About Credit in October, when they visit high schools across the state to make presentations on knowing your credit score, paying for college, protecting your identity and managing your money;
- Lights, Camera, Save!, when they sponsor students for this annual video contest that engages teens in educating themselves and their peers about the value of saving and using money wisely;
- VBA Bank Day Scholarship Program in March, when they host students in their banks for the day. A total of $26,000 in college scholarships will be distributed later this spring through this program;
- Virginia Council on Economic Education Teachers Institutes, when bankers teach the credit portion of this free training for teachers;
- Virginia Reads One Book, when banks sponsor local schools for this statewide family financial literacy program;
- Virginia banks support the VBA Education Foundation, the vehicle through which the VBA is able to offer these programs.
It is essential to the Commonwealth that its citizenry be financially literate, responsible and able to properly manage money, credit, and debt. Fortunately, Virginia is one of 20 states in the nation that requires high school students to take a course in economics and one of 17 states that requires high school students to take a course in personal finance. Virginia was also recognized as being one of the five states to receive an “A” in the Champlain College Center for Financial Literacy’s 2017 National Report Card on State Efforts to Improve Financial Literacy in High Schools.
-Submitted by Chandler Owdom, Communications Director