NEW YORK – May 20, 2009 – Operation HOPE (HOPE), a global organization dedicated to promoting financial literacy and empowerment in low-wealth, underserved communities, today announced the launch of a new website designed to give youth the tools, knowledge and motivation they need to develop healthy financial habits.
BankingonOurFuture.org provides free online access to the award-winning Banking on Our Future financial literacy program, teaching students ages 9 to 18 the basics of banking, credit, checking, savings, borrowing and investing, and other key money management topics. The curriculums employ specialized web video modules designed for elementary, middle and high school/adult level students, and may be accessed 24/7. In addition, teachers may request volunteer “banker-teachers” to participate in live classroom sessions.
“We must teach our youth the ‘language of money’ – the importance of respecting, saving and spending money wisely – in order to resolve many of the social and economic issues our world faces today,” said John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE. “Now, with the help of E*TRADE and HOPE’s signature partners, every teacher, student, parent and community group will have access to the tried and true Banking on Our Future program, which is part of our ‘silver rights’ mission to provide financial literacy and personal empowerment.“
Banking on Our Future is the recipient of Oprah’s Angel Network ‘Use Your Life Award’ and the U.S. Treasury Department’s John Sherman Award for Financial Literacy Excellence; and it is the national partner for financial literacy empowerment for Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund in South Africa. With the support of key partners including E*TRADE and volunteer banker-teachers, Operation HOPE’s Banking on Our Future program has reached more than 380,000 students in 1,200 schools nationwide (at no cost to the schools) since its establishment in 1996. Through the launch of BankingonOurFuture.org, Operation HOPE aims to reach a total of five million youth by 2014 – part of HOPE’s “5MK” initiative.
“It is never too early to start learning the fundamentals of money management,” said Celie Niehaus, Vice President, E*TRADE Bank. “Banking on Our Future is a proven education program that teaches kids the value of money and the importance of credit. As a banker-teacher, I’ve seen first hand how much of an impact the program has on youth and how they think of money. E*TRADE has served as the signature sponsor of the program since 2005 and we are proud to partner with Operation HOPE to expand access to all through bankingonourfuture.org.”