Texas Financial Literacy Summit brings educational returns to bankers and teachers

First United Bank’s Lisa Crawford is known around Marble Falls as the Crazy Money Lady.Throughout Texas, bankers are helping people learn to save and manage their money so that they can accomplish their goals. Some of those bankers met alongside teachers in July at the 12th Annual Texas Financial Literacy Summit in Farmers Branch.

The summit, which is a collaboration of The Texas Bankers Foundation and the IBAT Education Foundation, in partnership with Texas Jump$tart Coalition, allowed bankers and educators the chance to share ways to teach financial literacy to all age groups — from elementary school to senior citizens.

Currently, personal financial literacy is supposed to be offered as an elective at Texas public high schools. Last session’s HB 1182 would have eliminated the elective nature of the course; however, the bill did not pass. While many still hope to get legislation passed during the next legislative session, so that personal financial literacy is a one-half credit requirement for high school graduation, bankers want to make sure that they are educating students on money matters in the meantime.

A few bankers shared ways they are able to educate students on financial literacy at local schools.

First United Bank, Marble Falls
Lisa Crawford, a financial wellbeing specialist at First United Bank, is known around Marble Falls as the “Crazy Money Lady.” As she dons a boa and a necklace with a large money symbol, she also takes on a different persona to match, allowing her to teach financial lessons in an entertaining way to kids of all ages. Knowing she was going to speak at her grandchildren’s school, she asked them who were some of the best career speakers that had visited their school. Crawford got nervous as she heard about the firefighters who brought the firetruck and EMT staff who brought the ambulance. She wasn’t sure she’d be able to compete, so she created a persona that now keeps her audience mesmerized as she throws fake dollar bills around while she teaches money lessons.

JumpStart Coalition board members Jocelyn Carby, Nick Murja, Mary Lange, Christy Bachmeyer, Susan Kizer and Susan Doty.Frost Bank, San Antonio
Frost Financial Youth Academy offers an eight-month program for high school students, targeting students who will be 1st-generation college students. Donna Normandin, senior vice president and CRA officer at Frost Bank, shared that several factors led to them getting access to schools in San Antonio, including first creating a curriculum that they were able to get approved by the Texas Education Agency and then taking that curriculum to the superintendent. This method was a success.

In 2018, more than 1,800 Frost bankers were able to teach financial literacy classes across Texas.

Amarillo National Bank, Amarillo
Amarillo National Bank offers savings education at the local elementary schools offering “bank days.” Students run the banks at the school, including taking deposits and planning marketing campaigns, allowing them to learn business skills. During banking days, students can bring in their spare change and open a student checking account or deposit money into their account. If they don’t already have a piggy bank, they are given bank bags to fill. Students who get all As or Bs on their report cards receive cash to be added to their account.

These are just some of the programs bankers shared on how they are spreading financial literacy.