ABA Banking Journal - March/April 2016 - (Page 22)

FEATURE > FINANCIAL EDUCATION INNOVATIONS Learning Through Literature Banks help students master the fundamentals of reading and financial literacy, one book at a time. BY MONICA C. MEINERT I 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 market area. 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, 22 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. Treasury Department. "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

CHAIRMAN’S VIEW
UPFRONT
PICTURE THIS
LEGAL BRIEFS
LEARNING THROUGH LITERATURE
PUMPING IT UP
CRE AT A CROSSROADS
LAYING A FOUNDATION FOR INNOVATION
A PASSION FOR ADVOCACY
MARKETING
CEO ROUNDTABLE
WHY BANK CONSOLIDATION IN THE U.S. WILL LIFT OFF IN 2016
ABA COMPLIANCE CENTER INBOX
PAYMENTS
CYBERSECURITY
FRAUD
BOOKS FOR BANKERS
BOARD MATTERS
FROM THE STATES
CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
INDEX OF ADVERTISERS

ABA Banking Journal - March/April 2016

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