Goal is to educate students in financial literacy; partnership will empower students to control their financial resources and develop strategies for personal money management WASHINGTON, DC --- July 9, 2007 --- Ward 8 Councilmember Marion Barry applauded District of Columbia Public Schools' (DCPS) partnership with financial literacy and empowerment nonprofit, Operation HOPE (HOPE) to help students, school district-wide, understand how to manage, control, and create their financial resources. In an effort to offer a well-rounded curriculum, DCPS has signed a four-year agreement that will allow Banking on Our Future, HOPE's award-winning youth fiscal responsibility program, to be taught in middle and junior high schools operated by DCPS. "I believe that this program will make a significant difference in the lives of our many younger Ward 8 residents," said Councilmember Marion Barry. "This partnership provides us an opportunity to train young people on the importance of personal finance and credit worthiness at an early age. We hope that such an experience would ultimately transfer into their adult lives." Councilmember Barry championed the campaign to establish the program in DCPS system as a result of an action item from the Anacostia Economic Summit held on May 3rd, 2006 in Ward 8. Ward 8 is known to have the highest rate of illiteracy and dropouts in the district. Barry has been working to build an infrastructure that would help empower the community residents and improve school performance records. Working with HOPE to bolster financial literacy education for youth and adults has become a key component of his plan. The Banking on Our Future program was added to HOPE's suite of financial literacy initiatives in 1996, as part of its mission to implement a nationwide education delivery system for low-wealth youth ages 9 -18 at no cost to under-served school districts. The program consists of four modules that cover the basics of banking, checking & savings account management, the power of credit, basic investments, and dignity. Using Operation HOPE's skilled bank of HOPE Corps volunteers representing more than 400 private sector companies, the program has educated more than 225,000 youth to date in over 30 U.S. cities and South Africa. Banking on Our Future has been distinguished with the U.S. Treasury Department's John Sherman Award for Financial Literacy Excellence, is a recipient of Oprah's Angel Network, Use Your Life Award and is the financial literacy country partner for the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund in South Africa. The DCPS lives up to its mission to bring success to each student by focusing on the needs of each individual, one at a time. Its jurisdiction spans a diverse range of students in the seat of the nation's government. Designed to provide students with a quality education that prepare them to become future leaders, productive citizens, and employers/employees who are engaged in the life of the community. Through rigorous academic standards, challenging programs that link classroom experience with career options that effectively support learning -- the DCPS system strives help every student achieve their maximum potential. "There is a systemic reform underway in the District of Columbia Public School system, designed to improve and advance student achievement. The Banking on Our Future program will help take that reform to a new level of excellence. Operation HOPE is proud to be a part of this improvement as a partner with the District of Columbia Public School system, bringing hope, dignity and better choice-making skills through our silver rights movement, to the youth and young adults in DCPS schools. I firmly believe that no one wants to be poor. When you know better you tend to do better. We are giving these youth the tools they need to succeed in life," said John Hope Bryant, Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO. In addition to this innovative district-wide Banking on Our Future partnership between the District of Columbia Public Schools and Operation HOPE, promoting youth financial literacy and silver rights, Operation HOPE also operates its flagship HOPE (Banking) Center on Good Hope Road in the 8th Ward, in partnership with online bank and brokerage company, E*TRADE FINANCIAL. HOPE Centers provide economic education, economic empowerment and silver rights for adults, families, small businesses and entrepreneurs in low-wealth communities. Information on the full suite of empowerment services offered by Operation HOPE can be found at www.operationhope.org.
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