ABA: Bank Employees Across U.S. Share Financial Knowledge with Students on Get Smart About Credit Day

Bank employees across the country will celebrate the American Bankers Association Foundation’s Get Smart About Credit Day on Oct. 15th by presenting virtual lessons to teens and young adults on a range of personal finance topics. Given the economic disruption from the ongoing pandemic, this year’s online campaign is particularly timely.

Get Smart About Credit Day, celebrated annually on the third Thursday of October, is one of three ABA Foundation youth financial education campaigns each year. The national program allows bank employees to present lessons to students on important financial obstacles facing young adults including saving for the unexpected, managing money, paying for college, knowing their credit score, protecting their identity and exploring careers in banking. Since 1997, the ABA Foundation’s financial education initiatives have reached 11.1 million young people through more than 350,000 banker presentations.

During a typical year, thousands of bankers visit classrooms in every U.S. state, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam to deliver Get Smart About Credit presentations, often reaching more than 150,000 students. In light of the ongoing pandemic and the patchwork of learning environments across the country, the Foundation staff updated the campaign to meet the reality of the moment.

“We understand classroom learning looks different this year in many communities,” said Corey Carlisle, executive director of the ABA Foundation. “That’s why we’ve rolled out a suite of virtual resources to help bankers reach students where they are – in a classroom or at their kitchen table. Now, more than ever, it’s important to educate the next generation on the value of managing their money and saving for the unexpected.”

The new resources include:

  • A guide on web conferencing tools and suggestions on how to use them;
  • Tips to engage students in distance learning;
  • Virtual credit and savings games; and
  • New lesson plans and accompanying materials: Deciphering Savings Data and Building a Strong Financial Reputation.

For educators and youth-focused organizations interested in scheduling banker-led financial education presentations, the ABA Foundation offers FinEdLink – a free online tool that matches schools or community groups with a local banker volunteer in their area.

To mark Get Smart About Credit Day and help prepare bank volunteers for their presentations, the ABA Foundation will host a webinar, Motivating Teens and Young Adults to Save for the Unexpected on Oct. 15th. The webinar will feature speakers from the Association for Financial Counseling & Planning Education, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and Wells Fargo.

The ABA Foundation provides all of the campaign resources including the lesson plans, informational webinars, program materials and real-time customer support entirely free to banks of all sizes to encourage industry participation.

“In recent surveys, Americans have said financial training is a basic skill needed to be successful in life,” said Robert Jones, ABA Foundation Chairman and CEO of United Bank in Atmore, Alabama. “With the help of banker volunteers, Get Smart About Credit plays an important role in introducing school children to savings and credit principles. It’s a great program, and I hope every bank in the country will participate this year.”

Ally Financial, Citi, U.S. Bank and Wells Fargo are sponsoring this year’s Get Smart About Credit campaign.

Registered banks are featured on a list of participating banks on the ABA Foundation’s website and in press materials. Any media outlet interested in covering a banker presentation in their community, should contact Blair Bernstein.

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