ABA Banking Journal - March/April 2016 - (Page 22)
> FINANCIAL EDUCATION INNOVATIONS
Banks help students master the fundamentals of reading
and financial literacy, one book at a time.
BY MONICA C. MEINERT
n the popular children's book I Can Read with My Eyes
Shut! Dr. Seuss wrote, "The more that you read, the more
things you will know. The more that you learn, the more
places you'll go." It's a simple but inspiring quote-an
encouragement to young readers to devour literature and
expand both their imaginations and practical knowledge. But
for many children across the country, simply gaining access
to books can be a challenge.
"In middle and low income communities, there is an average
of just one book for every 300 kids," says Anna Anderson,
manager of strategic alliances with First Book, a nonprofit
organization dedicated to putting literature in the hands of
students in need throughout the United States and Canada.
First Book works with several corporate partners to make this
possible, including TD Bank.
TD has partnered with First Book for the past five years,
bringing new books to children in need through large-scale
book truck events and through the bank's school-based
volunteer program, Banking on Books. In 2015 alone, TD
provided more than 215,000 new books to children across its
Working directly with teachers, TD's Banking on Books
volunteers choose financial literacy titles to take to classrooms
and read with students, engaging them in discussions
about the importance of responsible money management.
"Learning about concepts like saving, budgeting and credit
early helps put children on the right path," says Andrea
Johnson, TD's head of U.S. financial education. "When kids
grow into young adults, they form habits quickly. We want to
ensure these habits lead to positive outcomes."
The Banking on Books program is unique, according to TD's
community relations program manager, Erin O'Connor Jones,
ABA BANKING JOURNAL | MARCH/APRIL 2016
because it brings new books to the classroom while engaging
students during their reading time. "Each child receives a
copy of a new book to bring home," O'Connor Jones says.
"For too many children, this may be their very first new book."
Building a Strong Financial Foundation
Having access to books is a critical for building a foundation
for success later in life, Anderson says. "If you don't connect
someone early on with the love of reading, the educational
gap just widens."
According to national study by the American Educational
Research Association, students who do not read on grade
level by the third grade are four times less likely to graduate
than proficient readers. Poverty compounds the problem:
students who have lived in poverty and don't read well
are 13 times more likely to drop out or fail to graduate on
time. And when it comes to financial literacy, other studies
have shown the importance of providing instruction early-
students who are taught about financial concepts during
their K-12 education have significantly higher savings, higher
credit scores and higher net worth throughout their lives
than those that aren't, according to a report from the U.S.
"First Book supports our efforts to engage employees
as volunteers and provides access to a wide network of
educators and schools," O'Connor Jones says. "We have
a shared commitment to getting books to disadvantaged
children and youth."
This commitment resonates with bankers across the industry,
says Corey Carlisle, executive director of the ABA Foundation.
"We've had requests from many banks asking for book
recommendations that they could incorporate into their
financial literacy curriculum," he says. "Together with First
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ABA Banking Journal - March/April 2016
LEARNING THROUGH LITERATURE
PUMPING IT UP
CRE AT A CROSSROADS
LAYING A FOUNDATION FOR INNOVATION
A PASSION FOR ADVOCACY
WHY BANK CONSOLIDATION IN THE U.S. WILL LIFT OFF IN 2016
ABA COMPLIANCE CENTER INBOX
BOOKS FOR BANKERS
FROM THE STATES
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS
ABA Banking Journal - March/April 2016