The Teach Children to Save program will kick off at 10 a.m. on Thursday at Hartman Elementary School, 5530 N. 66 St. The program brings basic financial education concepts to life for fourth graders through an interactive presentation by a Ben Franklin character. The program will reach more than 1500 students at 16 schools in eastern Nebraska and is sponsored by Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans (NEST) and First National Bank.
Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg and Senior Vice President, First National Bank, Stephen Wade, will help kick off the program by speaking with students at Hartman Elementary.
According to the American Bankers Association, America’s youth develops spending habits before saving habits. In 1997, the ABA created the Teach Children to Save program to educate young people on the value of saving money. Recognizing the importance of these savings lessons, NEST and First National Bank are collaborating on this initiative to expand on the ideals and concepts behind Teach Children to Save Day with a comprehensive program focused on building dreams for the future and how to save for those dreams that will last throughout the year and beyond.
Each of the 16 participating schools will be visited by the Benjamin Franklin character, and every fourth grade student will receive a backpack full of goodies to help extend the concepts from the presentation. Through the Teach Children to Save program, children will learn the basics about building their dreams, earning money, setting a budget and developing a three-part plan to save, share and spend. School presentations will take place through the end of April.
“Studies show that involving children early in saving for their future not only improves the likelihood that they will pursue higher education but that they will succeed in life,” said Deborah Goodkin, Managing Director, College Savings Plans, First National Bank. “When parents and other family members participate in a child's efforts to save, the prospects for success are greatly enhanced.”
“I am proud to participate in the Teach Children to Save event. Helping children understand the value of saving their money and making wise decisions is important to me as State Treasurer. This event fits well with two of my goals which are to encourage financial literacy education throughout the state and to increase awareness of the benefits of saving for college through our Nebraska Educational Saving Trust,” Treasurer Stenberg said.
The elementary schools to be visited include: Hartman, Spring Ridge, St. Vincent DePaul, Wakonda, Jackson, Upchurch, Sandoz, Mockingbird, Blair, Tekamah, Field Club Elementary, Patriot, Wilson Focus, Trinity, Liberty and Gomez.
As part of the initiative, NEST is offering a “Teach Children to Save NEST $529” drawing. Five students who open new NEST college savings accounts with a special promo code will receive a $529 scholarship. In addition, the winners’ schools will receive a $250 donation. More information is available at NEST529.com. In addition to this scholarship, NEST and First National Bank have allocated more than $100,000 in scholarships to be awarded through ongoing scholarship programs for children in 2014.
“We hope that these NEST scholarships will result in greater awareness of Nebraska’s college savings program and of how our state-sponsored 529 college savings plans can help parents and grandparents prepare for the cost of higher education for their children and grandchildren,” Goodkin said.
NEST is a tax-advantaged 529 college savings plan and provides four plans to help make saving for college simple and affordable: NEST Direct College Savings Plan, the NEST Advisor College Savings Plan, the TD Ameritrade 529 College Savings Plan, and the State Farm College Savings Plan. The Nebraska State Treasurer serves as Program Trustee. First National Bank of Omaha serves as Program Manager, and all investments are approved by the Nebraska Investment Council. Families nationwide are saving for college using Nebraska’s 529 College Savings Plans, which have more than 261,000 accounts, including 84,000 in Nebraska. Visit NEST529.com and treasurer.nebraska.gov for more information.
About First National Bank of Omaha
First National Bank of Omaha is a subsidiary of First National of Nebraska. First National of Nebraska and its affiliates have more than $23 billion in assets and 5,000 employee associates. Primary banking offices are located in Nebraska, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, South Dakota and Texas.