"The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically... Intelligence plus character - that is the goal of true education." – Martin Luther King, Jr.
"Financial literacy is an issue that should command our attention because many Americans are not adequately organizing finances for their education, healthcare and retirement." – Ron Lewis
"Education is the foundation of success. Just as scholastic skills are vitally important, so are financial skills and communication skills." – Robert Kiyosaki
The State of Financial Literacy in America
In a nation where nearly a third of high school seniors already use a credit card, a higher proportion have an ATM card, and more than 1.5 million families filed for personal bankruptcy last year, the need for personal financial literacy is apparent. Yet fewer than 30 percent of young Americans are given the opportunity to take as much as one week's worth of course work in money management or personal finance in high school.
The following statistics further describe the state of financial literacy in America today.
Educating our community, neighbors, youth, and customers to be financially responsible is a service that Columbia Bank has focused on from the beginning. We are committed to teach personal finance basics from the local elementary to the high school level, and then further financial education into various modules that cover budgeting, credit basics, saving, checking accounts, identity theft and the value of a good credit score. Our Shining Star Reader program in Post Falls has given every first grader a Shining Star reader book bag with a ruler and pencil.
From seminars on identity theft at our local retired living homes to basic finance with small businesses and church groups, our employee volunteers have invested their time to inform and teach our communities about responsible finance.
A formalized program through the American Bankers Association (ABA) is being implemented bank-wide for our youth. This involves having our employee volunteers go into the local high schools to teach the ABA sponsored "Teach the Children to Save" training module. The program is geared towards children in the 4th through 8th grade teaching the benefits and discipline of saving.
- Jump$tart Coalition, 2007
- Junior Achievement, 2005
- Generation Broke: The Growth of Debt Among Young Americans
- Charles Schwab Teens and Money 2007 Survey
- Washington Post, 2007 citing student loan lender Nellie Mae.
- Denver Business Journal citing Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI), 2007
- "Generation Debt", 2007
- U.S. Commerce Department, 2006
- Cardweb.com, 2005
- "Strapped: Why America's 20 and 30 Somethings Can't Get Ahead", Tamara Draut, 2006.
- Richmond Credit Abuse Resistant Education (CARE) Program
- The Denver Post, citing Charles Schwab Teens and Money, 2007
- The Harris Poll #22, 2007
- RealtyTrac.com. 2008
- National Council on Economic Education, 2007