Financial literacy is important. The last three generations, the ones closing out the alphabet, have been plagued, in the most part, by scenarios that did not exist for their parents. Banking has changed and so have our attitudes towards money. How do we prepare the next generation so that they are not caught off-guard when they enter adulthood?
Easy. You start them young and you teach them the value of money. Minority communities have been on the shorter end of the short stick when it comes to financial literacy. It wouldn’t be a wild allegation that banking institutions have long held negative, even racist attitudes towards black and Latino clients.
When Teri Williams, president of OneUnitedBank, the largest black-owned bank in the U.S., found out that books geared towards educating urban youth about finances did not exist, she wrote I Got Bank!: What My Granddad Taught Me About Money in 2010. The Brown University and Harvard Graduate School of Business graduate holds numerous distinctions and awards from groups such as the Urban League, the NAACP and the National Black MBA Association.
The mother of two’s story about two African American boys who learn the value of saving money is aimed at kids in the 4-12-year-old range; a critical age where want oft surpasses need given the deluge of advertising that is aimed at them.
Now in its ninth year, OneUnitedBank’s “I Got Bank!” Financial Literacy Contest awards ten winners with a $1,000 savings account. Students from across the country between the ages of 8 and 12 are encouraged to read a financial literacy book of their choosing, and either write a 250-word essay or create an art project to show how they would apply what they learned from the book to their daily lives.
Beyond the age group that can participate, this is a great opportunity for parents and even teachers to introduce this mentality to their kids. It’s high time we curb another generation from thinking “I wish someone had taught me that.”
Submissions must be emailed or postmarked by June 29, 2019. For more information, please visit: www.oneunited.com/book.