SPRINGFIELD – The Illinois Bankers Association (IBA) is celebrating Teach Children to Save Day on April 28th by promoting initiatives to educate youth about responsible savings habits through free, banker-led outreach opportunities and raising awareness about the role banks play in helping people develop strong financial habits.
Bank employees across the state and nation are bringing financial education to the forefront through community events, bank visits, in-classroom presentations, videos and online resources to give kids a head start on financial education. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the American Bankers Association’s Teach Children to Save program.
“Teaching children about the value of saving money encourages this essential life skill that will be carried on from childhood to adulthood. It’s never too late to improve financial literacy and Teach Children to Save Day reminds parents and communities that it’s never too early to start,” said Randy Hultgren, president and CEO of the Illinois Bankers Association. “Financial education is a high priority of Illinois banks year-round, because knowing how to properly manage money is key to unlocking life’s dreams.”
April is nationally recognized as Financial Literacy Month, designated by the U.S. Congress to bring together financial institutions, government agencies, nonprofit organizations and other entities with the goal of expanding the personal finance skills of all Americans through accessible education.
Throughout the year, the IBA highlights programs and opportunities across the state that help equip Illinoisans to thrive through fiscal education to achieve greater financial well-being. This includes the Stock Market Game, which partners banks across Illinois with schools to introduce young people to saving and investing through a simulation of the stock and bond markets. Students can trade and manage their own virtual $100,000 investment portfolio, with the top teams receiving recognition for their accomplishments with medals and certificates.
The IBA also administers Banzai, a web-based financial literacy program for all ages and groups, including K-12 schools, community programs, employee onboarding and families that teaches skills like budgeting, saving, understanding debt, using the internet safely, and more with experience-based online games.
Additional programs include the FDIC’s Money Smart initiative for people of all ages and the Teach Children to Save program, a free national program sponsored by the American Bankers Association Foundation that organizes banker volunteers throughout the year to help young people develop a savings habit early in life.
“The Illinois Bankers Association is committed to helping banks reach as many young people as possible, providing the tools they need to succeed in a world where financial stress is hitting our communities harder than ever before,” said IBA Chair Michelle Gross, who serves as the Executive Vice President, Chief Operating Officer, and Information Systems Officer with State Bank of Bement. “Teaching our children financial literacy skills from a young age will help set them on the path to achieving their goals.”
About the Illinois Bankers Association
The Illinois Bankers Association is the voice of Illinois’ banking industry, dedicated to creating a positive business climate that benefits the entire banking industry and they communities they serve. Founded in 1891, the IBA brings together state and national banks and savings banks employing more than 105,000 people in nearly 4,500 offices across the state. The IBA is proud of its diverse membership, serving all sizes of financial institutions from the smallest community bank in the state to the largest national bank in the country.