Paul_atkins_jpgBanking on Our Future Brings HOPE toYouth at Parkside Elementary School

ATLANTA, GA – February 21, 2007 – U.S. Securities & Exchange Commissioner, Paul S. Atkins, visited the Parkside Elementary School in Atlanta to lead an executive teaching session of Banking on Our Future for fourth and fifth graders on Tuesday, February 6.

Using eggs and chocolates, Atkins demonstrated how investing can work for or against you. “Kids understand more about financial issues than we sometimes give them credit for understanding.  With a little basic training early on we can prepare kids today to be the money savvy investors of tomorrow.” said Commissioner Atkins.

Commissioner Atkins believes in the importance of youth financial literacy; citing that early education is key to a strong economy. The kids took great delight in the commissioner’s demonstrations, as he challenged the students to imagine ten or twenty years gone by ‘in the blink of an eye’ – then instructed them to crush the eggs in plastic Ziploc bags or increase their number to show how you can win or lose on investments. The lucky ones found themselves reaping the chocolates as a reward for a ‘sweet’ investment.

Operation HOPE’s award-winning, on-the-ground financial literacy, Banking on Our Future program,  is designed to inspire and empower inner-city kids by teaching them the basics of banking, earning income, budgeting, saving and investing. Nearly 3,600 students have completed the training since it was initiated in the Atlanta metro area in 2004 and over 210,000 youth nationwide have been educated since the programs’ inception in 1996.

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