Until recently, the personal savings rate in the U.S. was negative 0.5 percent.  Children need to be taught the importance of savings early.  Governor Quinn is appointing a Task Force mandated to explore the development of a plan for instituting the children’s savings accounts.  The Children’s Savings Account Task Force reflects growing awareness among lawmakers of the role that savings plays in the future financial success of not only families and individuals, but also cities and states.

Schools need financial education courses to teach students how to budget, save, invest and prepare for financial contingencies. The need in this country for financial education is so great that we must continue to tackle it at all levels and with all available resources.

The Teach Children to Save Day complements and continues the concept of early savings.  The goal of the campaign is to reach 5 million students before the end of 2011, the program’s 15th anniversary.  Last year, when the banking industry was facing considerable challenges, many banks and financial professionals met the Million Child Challenge and, by reaching 1 million students, nearly doubled the number of students reached in 2008.  Banks can register to participate online and will be provided with free access to a tool kit, including a planning checklist, a sample email to recruit colleagues, a sample invitation letter to school administrators, Savers’ Pledge, a news release template and promotional posters.   Participants can also visit www.abaef.com for a budgeting worksheet, the Money Talks newsletter series and more.

Participants are honored for the efforts in an online list and acknowledgements to media and policymakers highlighting their commitment to their communities.

The work of the Children’s Savings Account Task Force and the Teach Children to Save campaign are opportunities to help address a serious problem in our nation of the lack of financial literacy.  It’s an opportunity to reach out to communities and give young people the tools and inspiration for a successful financial future.

The Illinois Asset Building Group, a diverse statewide coalition invested in building the stability and strength of Illinois families and communities through increased asset ownership and asset protection, supports the work of the Task Force and the Teach Children to Save campaign as an integral component of such financial growth.