Union Bank, N.A., has donated 10,000 financial literacy books ÔÇô What a Bank Can Do by nationally recognized children's authors John and Diane Tuzee ÔÇô to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) Beyond the Bell Branch (BTB) after school program. The limited edition books were presented during a special assembly at Multnomah Elementary School in Los Angeles and will be used as part of ongoing BTB financial literacy programs for more than 160,000 students who participate at 670 LAUSD schools.
During the assembly, Mayor Eric Garcetti's Special Advisor for Education, Thelma Melendez de Santa Ana, spoke to students and was joined by BTB Director Timothy Bower, LAUSD Board Member Mon?¡ca Garc?¡a, Multnomah Principal Ana Escobedo, Union Bank's Regional President Leticia Aguilar and Foundation President Carl Ballton, and the Tuzees.
Colorful and easy-to-read with rhyming text, What a Bank Can Do explores the importance of saving money through its main characters Luke and Linda and has become a fun learning tool for parents, teachers and all adults to share with the youth in their lives. Union Bank provided underwriting support for the development and initial distribution of What a Bank Can Do, and has also donated many copies to youth organizations throughout California.
"Union Bank is dedicated to increasing financial education in our local communities, and we know that educating youth is critical to building and sustaining strong communities for the future," said Aguilar. "We are excited to once again partner with LAUSD to provide this valuable teaching resource to Beyond the Bell, and we hope the Multnomah students will share what they learn from this book with their family and friends."
Union Bank, in partnership with the LAUSD Board of Education, also recently announced plans to open the bank's first two Los Angeles student-run branches at Crenshaw High School and Abraham Lincoln High School as part of an innovative program designed to provide students with real-world financial education and work experience.
"We are truly grateful to Union Bank for the donation of these books to our after school program," said Beyond the Bell Branch Executive Director Alvaro Cortes. "The book is indeed a great learning tool and a fun way to communicate the message about the importance of being money smart, and the illustrations and rhyming also make it perfect for some of the younger kids in our program."
"What a Bank Can Do helps to explain the critical role that banks have in our communities and explores how fun saving can be," said John Tuzee. "The book's key message is simple ÔÇô always save more than you spend and you'll never run out of money. Words to live by for all of us!" During the assembly, Melendez de Santa Ana presented the Tuzees with a special proclamation from the City of Los Angeles, naming November 21 "What a Bank Can Do Day" in Los Angeles.
Second largest in the nation, the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) enrolls more than 640,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade, at over 900 schools, and 187 public charter schools. The boundaries spread over 720 square miles and include the mega-city of Los Angeles as well as all or parts of 31 smaller municipalities plus several unincorporated sections of Southern California.
The mission of the Beyond the Bell Branch (BTB) is to ensure that all children and youth in LAUSD have access to high quality, safe, and supervised academic, enrichment, and recreation programs that inspire learning and achievement beyond the regular school day (before and after school and Saturdays). BTB serves over 160,000 students daily at 670 schools throughout LAUSD. Programs include academic assistance, performing arts, sports, and leadership training.