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BMO Harris Bank Introduces Financial Literacy Program in Wisconsin



MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN--(Marketwired - April 29, 2015) - To help teachers and parents have financial conversations with their students and children, BMO Harris is introducing Talk With Our Kids About Money Day in Wisconsin. The program offers a simple way to help children learn more about money and personal finances with 100 Wisconsin schools participating. BMO Harris Bank also released a study today which showed that most Wisconsin parents would rather have "the talk" with their kids than discuss finances.

Talk With Our Kids About Money Day was created by the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) and piloted in the U.S. in 2014 in Chicago.

"BMO Harris is here to help parents and teachers start a conversation with our youth about good money habits. The goal of Talk With Our Kids About Money Day is to bridge the information gap and arm youth with the knowledge they need to become more financially confident," said Kelly Harper, Director, Brand Customer Learning, BMO Financial Group.

Talk With Our Kids About Money Day was introduced today at Business and Economic Academy Milwaukee (BEAM). Attendees and speakers included David Mancl, Director, Office of Financial Literacy, Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions; BEAM Board Member, Scott Niederjohn; and students, teachers and parents from the BEAM school. The event included a Money Fair and presentations by BEAM students.

"Our objective is to have Wisconsin as the leading state in the nationfor financial education and preparing our youth for their financial futures" said David Mancl, Executive Director, Governor's Council on Financial Literacy. "The Talk with Our Kids About Money Day program is an excellent example of how we can work together to get parents, guardians, and teachers involved in helping us to achieve that goal."

Talk With Our Kids About Money Day encourages parents and teachers to have conversations with youth about money and personal finances. The annual program takes place the last Wednesday in April with a "Home Program" for families and a "School Program" for 7th grade students and teachers. Parents and teachers can visit www.talkwithourkidsaboutmoney.com for free access to current resources and curriculum ideas throughout the year.

Highlights of School Program:

  • Easy-to-use lesson plans for teachers on how to incorporate money and finance into social studies, math, science, history, geography, music and art
  • Group discussion and debate ideas
  • Resources and interactive tools for teachers

Highlights of Parent Program:

  • Online access to ideas, activities, stories, resources, tools and videos
  • Discussion starters, interaction information and helpful resources links
  • Support resources organized by childrens' age range

Additional Study Finding

Among Wisconsin parents surveyed, they would rather talk to their kids about the facts of life than the family's financial situation (66 percent vs 34 percent), indicating a lack of comfort among parents with having the "money" talk.

Furthermore, the survey revealed:

  • 90 percent think children should be taught financial literacy in school
  • Fewer than half (45 per cent) are optimistic about the financial future of children
  • Only about one third (34 per cent) believe that kids who are graduating now are well prepared for their financial future
  • Nearly 90 percent believe young people have an unrealistic expectation of what they will be paid

The survey results cited in the BMO Harris Financial Literacy Report, conducted by Pollara, are compiled from a random sample of 1002 Americans 18 years of age and over between January 27th and January 29th, 2015. A probability sample of this size would yield results accurate to ± 3.1 per cent, 19 times out of 20.

About BMO Harris Bank

BMO Harris Bank provides a broad range of personal banking products and solutions through more than 600 branches and approximately 1,300 ATMs in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, Arizona and Florida. BMO Harris Bank's commercial banking team provides a combination of sector expertise, local knowledge and mid-market focus throughout the U.S. For more information about BMO Harris Bank, go to the company fact sheet. Banking products and services are subject to bank and credit approval, BMO Harris Bank, N.A., Member FDIC. BMO Harris Bank is part of BMO Financial Group, a North American financial organization with approximately 1,600 branches, and CDN $672 billion in assets (as of January 31, 2015).

About CFEE

CFEE is a non-profit, non-partisan organization, founded in 1974, that works to improve economic and financial literacy and enterprising capability. CFEE works collaboratively with departments of education along with school boards, schools, educators, and teacher associations. Overall, CFEE aspires to help people of all ages be better prepared to undertake their economic roles, responsibilities, and decisions with confidence and competence.

 
Media Contacts:
BMO Harris Bank
Beth Copeland
beth.copeland@bmo.com
312-771-5013

BEAM
Scott Niederjohn
niederjohnms@lakeland.edu
1-414-617-3813

CFEE
Jan Wishart
jwishart@cfee.org
1-847-302-8752

Joseph Clark
jclark@cfee.org
1-888-570-7610

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