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January 01 2003

Los Angeles Unified School District and Operation HOPE, Inc. Bank on Financial Literacy Initiative To Teach Economic Basics to LA Students

Banking on Our Future Chosen as a LAUSD “Beyond the Bell” Program

Los Angeles, CA – Los Angeles City Councilmember Ed Reyes will join Los Angeles Unified School District Associate Superintendent of the “Beyond the Bell” Branch John Leichty, and Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Bryant, at an announcement that Operation HOPE’s “Banking on Our Future” financial literacy initiative has been chosen as an official LAUSD “Beyond the Bell” after school program.

At Berendo Middle School, about 125 students participated in a kick-off rally to announce the partnership, which will bring the “Banking on Our Future” economic literacy program to between 4,000 and 5,0000 student in the Los Angeles school system who participate in the “Beyond the Bell” after school program.

“This particular partnership will enhance and expand the kinds of programs and activities we engage in in Youth Services,” said LAUSD School Superintendent Roy Romer. “This will not only provide a unique opportunity to establish a partnership with an outstanding organization, Operation HOPE, but it will bring to our young people a much needed initiative around economic literacy.”

A 2002 national survey of 4,024 12 th graders conducted by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy found that 68.1 percent of those tested failed a multiple-choice examination on basic financial literacy. This is an increase from the 59.1 percent who failed in 2000 and the 44.2 percent who failed in 1997. Students scored an average of 50.2 percent, down from 51.9 percent in 2000 and 57.3 percent in 1997.

A 2003 survey by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston showed that test scores of 35 students in the Dearborn After-School Academy (DASA) at Dearborn Middle School improved by 700 percent following a week of one-hour “Banking on Our Future” sessions with volunteer banker-teachers from the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporate (FDIC).

“These kids are the future leaders of our great nation, and we must give them the tools needed to succeed,” said Bryant. “Banking on Our Future empowers students by giving them the knowledge and tools they need to take control over their financial future.

We are honored to partner with the “Beyond the Bell” program to bring this important education to as many children in Los Angeles as possible.”

“Banking on Our Future” is an economic literacy initiative that teaches children the basics of managing their financial futures and surviving in a global economy. It is currently the only national platform for economic literacy in the country today and operates in eight states and the District of Columbia. Using a growing network of trained volunteer banker-teachers, “Banking on Our Future” teaches four core modules:

  • The basics of banking;
  • How to open and maintain a checking and savings account;
  • The power of credit; and
  • Basic investments.
In addition to sessions taught at schools throughout the country, “Banking on Our Future” curriculum is available online through a partnership with Wells Fargo & Co. at Banking on Our Future is also a partner in the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Money Smart financial literacy program that works to educate the whole family.

Operation HOPE is a national non-profit self-help organization working to bring economic self-sufficiency to inner-city residents. With more than $180 million in commitments from its 115 banks and corporate partners for homeownership and small business loans, $114 million in funded loans and more than 575,000 customers served in economic literacy, education and related services, Operation HOPE is a national leader in providing economic empowerment tools and services.

The LAUSD’s Beyond the Bell Branch before and after school programs, in partnership with community-based organizations throughout Los Angeles, provide academic assistance, enrichment activities and recreation under the supervision of trained staff in a safe, welcoming environment.