Bank of Lancaster senior vice president and consumer education director recently was a speaker for a nation-wide training webinar for the American Bankers Association (ABA).
The ABA and the Virginia Bankers Association (VBA) are celebrating the 20th anniversary of “Teach Children to Save Day (TCTS),” a financial literacy program developed to help elementary and middle school youth understand the importance of learning to save. Farmer has been involved with the program since its inception and she was asked to share her knowledge with bankers across the country. The one-hour session was designed to familiarize bankers with action steps, ideas and tips on how to make an effective TCTS lesson.
“I considered this both an honor and a wonderful opportunity to share with fellow bankers across the country as we celebrate this milestone anniversary,” said Farmer.
Sharing her tips for successful presentations, she reported, “I learned early on that I am a banker, not a teacher. So my team and I have been involved with training programs at both the Federal Reserve and the VBA to teach us how to take what we know as bankers and relay it to a 6 year old or a 16 year old.
“I cannot say enough about these wonderful organizations. They provide materials designed to promote student participation and the lesson curriculum is aligned with academic standards. These are of great value to us as we make presentations in classrooms and conduct in-house tours. When working with children, it is important to be prepared and to make your presentations a fun learning experience.
“National TCTS is a one-day event so I had the opportunity to share with fellow bankers not only what I have found to be successful in the classroom but other opportunities to extend the financial literacy program beyond the national day, such as school bank programs. Our Bright Futures School Bank at Lancaster Middle School is now in its 10th year of operation, providing a great opportunity for students to understand money management,” she said.
Bankers across the country have reached millions of young people over the past 20 years with this important TCTS program, said Farmer.
“As a community banker, I understand the importance of supporting the communities we are privileged to serve and helping people improve the quality of their lives. This certainly extends to our youth because they are tomorrow’s citizens. If we can help them to understand money management today, as adults they will benefit personally and also be able to contribute to society,” she said.
Over the past 20 years, Farmer and her team have seen almost 10,000 youth in the Northern Neck, visiting all of the elementary schools during TCTS held in April. This year the team is again making plans to visit Lancaster Primary, Northumberland Elementary, Chesapeake Academy, Richmond County Elementary, Washington District, Cople Elementary, and Colonial Beach Elementary.
“We have a wonderful partnership with our local schools and we are grateful for the opportunities they give us as bankers to meet and share with their students,” said Farmer.
April was declared Financial Literacy Month by the U. S. Senate in 2003, and the TCTS program walks hand in hand with the Senate’s direction to help promote financial literacy. This year TCTS is April 28.