First Bank & Trust is committed to supporting the people in the communities it serves, and recently, the bank has launched several new efforts to encourage financial literacy among young people.
In 2014, the bank held financial literacy classes for Evanston high school students, hosted a hands-on training for students at Niles West High School, and taught elementary school children about how banks work in Skokie.
“Several not-for-profit organizations and schools looked to First Bank & Trust for advice about educating children and young adults about how and why savings matters, and managing money,” said Jay Lytle, Managing Director of First Bank & Trust. “We hope to enhance this initiative, so we can provide more workshops, specifically tailored to different age groups, for more community organizations.”
The first educational initiative First Bank & Trust took on in 2014 was during Smart Money Week in April, when the bank led a program at the Skokie Public Library for elementary school students. As part of the program, branch managers Chris White and LuAnn Stemple gave a PowerPoint presentation, showing how banks work and explaining different terminology. They also played a game showing how savings accounts work, had the chance to see foreign currency and counterfit bills.
Then in June, First Bank & Trust began a partnership with the Mayor’s Summer Youth Employment Program, sponsored by Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl. As part of the partnership, First Bank & Trust provided bank accounts with direct deposit to all of the teens under age 18 who worked a summer job as part of the program and taught financial literacy classes for about 150 Evanston youth.
Finally, in October, the bank hosted a group of students from Niles West High School at the Skokie Boulevard Branch. The students received hands-on learning about how to sign checks, balance a checkbook, use an ATM, and other basic financial skills.
In 2015, Lytle says he hopes to continue the bank’s mission of encouraging financial literacy among young people by working with the McGaw YMCA in Evanston to create a multifaceted financial literacy program for those people whom the YMCA serves.
“As exemplified by our recent ‘Outstanding’ Community Reinvestment Act rating, the bank is deeply committed to the success of the families, children, individuals and businesses of our Chicagoland neighborhoods,” Lytle says. “Investment in our communities will always be First Bank & Trust’s priority.”