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May 23, 2012
LONGVIEW— More than 360 backpacks filled with books for summer reading will be awarded to Pine Tree third graders on Wednesday, May 23 at the Intermediate School’s end of year assembly. The special backpack distribution marked the culmination of a collaborative effort between Texas Bank and Trust and the Pine Tree Education Foundation to promote reading and financial literacy.
The two entities partnered this spring on a unique learning project, known as “Bucks for Books,” to help students in Pine Tree understand the value of setting and achieving financial goals by saving money and to extend their learning into the summer months through reading.
The Bucks for Books project was introduced to the entire Pine Tree third grade during TB&T’s April 30th Teach Children to Save presentation at the school. The presentations highlighted the importance of saving and sharing money, while understanding the difference between needs versus wants when it comes to spending money.
TB&T Cool Kids Savings Club mascot, Digitz the Dollar Dog, made a special appearance during presentations to give each class a competition progress poster, featuring an outline of his dog bone. As the students collected money, they received a Digitz “paw print” to place inside their bone. The class with the most paw prints at the end of the week was awarded a pizza party with Digitz during the last week of school. View photos!
“Financial literacy is a critical life skill, and sharing personal finance lessons with students will prepare them to be financially responsible adults,” said Elizabeth Abrams, TB&T Community Relations Coordinator and organizer of Bucks for Books.
“Literacy and numeracy are two of the funding focuses for the Pine Tree Education Foundation so this partnership really hit the mark,” said Iva Holyfield, Foundation Board member and chair of the grant committee. “This year the Foundation chose to award a school-wide grant, which focused on one of the district’s most critical needs,” she said. The grant of nearly $4,000 paid for each child to receive three brand new books to take home over the summer.
The Bucks for Books project included a one-week competition, launched immediately after the bank presentations for classes to compete to see which group of students could save the most money. Funds were used to help purchase incentives and activities for students at the campus.
In addition to the books, the backpacks also included information about the Longview Public Library’s summer reading incentive program. Tuesday, July 10th, which falls during the Library’s Family Week in the summer for Pine Tree students, has been set aside for students to swap books and share their progress on achieving their summer reading incentives.
All Pine Tree students and family members are invited to swap a book from 7:00-8:00 pm, July 10, in the Longview Public Library’s community room. View / Print a Book Swap Flier - Save the Date!
"Plans are underway for the bank to continue its partnership with area schools to promote financial literacy through other programs similar to Bucks for Books," Ms. Abrams said.
Details for a program to include other Longview school districts are being finalized for when classes resume in the fall.
Since the inception of its Cool Kids Savings Club and Teach Children to Save programming in 2005, Texas Bank and Trust has introduced more than 3,000 East Texas students to the importance and benefits of saving.
CLICK TO VIEW PHOTOS of the PROJECT