Tagged Childrens Literature

“I Got Bank” Teaches Youth Financial Literacy

By Teri Williams

OneUnited Bank President and Chief Operating Officer Teri Williams has written a children’s book entitled I Got Bank!   The book is the centerpiece of OneUnited Bank’s new initiative to promote financial literacy to urban youth. The book tells the story of an African-American boy, Jazz Ellington, whose grandfather set up a savings account for him and taught him the importance of savings. OneUnited is offering the book for free to any public library or middle school upon request.
In conjunction with the launch of the book, OneUnited Bank is sponsoring an I Got Bank! Essay Contest. To enter, children are asked to write a 500-word essay about what the book meant to them. They can also write about any other book on financial literacy if they wish. The bank will be awarding three winners a $1,000 saving account in August 2011.
I Got Bank! teaches financial literacy in a way that is relevant to urban youth (targeting 8-12 year olds); it also gives parents a great way to start a family discussion about the importance of saving.  After Jazz has saved more than $2000, his mother, older brother and sister attempt to spend his money. He experiences a number of adventures in connection with his newfound focus on savings. Kids will enjoy reading how Jazz stays true to his grandfather’s lessons as he finds creative ways to help his family.
“This book should be required curriculum in all urban schools,” said Dr. Holly M. Carter, Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs and Chairperson, Department of Education, College of Professional Studies, Northeastern University, Boston. “There’s a lot for everyone to learn from the story – no matter what the age.”
The story covers important topics such as bank accounts, credit scores, and interest rates. Ms. Williams plans a series of speaking engagements and readings to promote the book and foster financial literacy.
“I wrote the book because helping young people acquire financial literacy skills is a personal passion and mission both for me and for OneUnited Bank,” said Williams. “I could not find a similar book about money from the perspective of an urban youth. Yet, when children learn the lessons of financial literacy at a young age, they form strong habits that can be life-changing.”
I Got Bank! is published by The Beckham Publications Group, Inc. (www.beckhamhouse.com). More information on the free book for libraries (supplies are limited) or the essay contest is available at www.oneunited.com/book.