Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kids Learn About Sharing, Saving and Smart Spending from PNC Bank and Sesame Street(TM)

PRNewswire via COMTEX/ 
New Online Learning Center in "'S' is for Savings" Account Teaches Financial Habits Via Popular Characters and PNC's Virtual Wallet Technology
-- Young children can learn about sharing, saving and smart spending through a new online learning center created by PNC Bank and Sesame Street(TM).
The web site offers audio and video clips, games, activities and financial "tips" for youngsters from Sesame Street's For Me, for You, for Later: First Steps to Spending, Sharing, & Saving, created for PNC as part of a continuing partnership. The instruction is featured in 'S' is for Savings(SM), PNC's new interactive savings account for kids. The account can be easily opened at any PNC branch, through its call center, or online with a $25 opening balance.
"Research shows that most parents feel ill-prepared to discuss financial matters with their children," said Todd Barnhart, PNC senior vice president, director, deposit products. "Our online learning center and savings account for kids help make it easy and fun to learn the basics of good financial habits for life."
Early Start to Financial Basics
The online experience, designed and created by the same PNC team that developed Virtual Wallet, includes animation, sound effects and interactive fun:
Children can easily see how much they have and literally drag and drop their money into jars which represent how they want to divide their money.
Parents or caregivers can also make use of PNC's "auto save" feature to provide a weekly "allowance" by transferring money from their own account.
The site also provides opportunities for children to explore concepts like needs versus wants, waiting, helping, earning, value and choices via audio, downloadable activities, video clips and tips from everyone's favorite furry little monster, Elmo. The site screens can even be personalized with the child's name and a special birthday surprise.
Barnhart offered the following points from the American Bankers Association Education Foundation to highlight the benefits of opening a youth savings account:
Kids who save are more likely to go to college. Research by Washington University's Center for Social Development found that children who have a savings account in their name are seven times more likely to attend college than peers without an account.
Teaching kids to save teaches self control. Choosing to save instead of spend, is an exercise in self control.
Young savers have a better outlook on life. Children with a savings account have lower stress and a greater sense of hope for the future, according to the SEED Initiative, a global partnership for action on sustainable development.
Savers are more financially literate. Kids with a bank account tend to be more financially literate than those without an account, according to a national financial education survey compiled by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy.
PNC's financial literacy for young children expands the early education reach of PNC Grow Up Great, a $350 million, multi-year initiative that began in 2004 to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life.
PNC Bank, National Association, is a member of The PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.PNC +0.32% . PNC ( www.pnc.com ) is one of the nation's largest diversified financial services organizations providing retail and business banking; residential mortgage banking; specialized services for corporations and government entities, including corporate banking, real estate finance and asset-based lending; wealth management and asset management. Follow @PNCNews on Twitter for breaking news, updates and announcements from PNC.
Joe Balaban (412) 768-5095(412) 445-4024 (cell)joseph.balaban@pnc.com
Copyright (C) 2012 PR Newswire. All rights reserved 

Monday, February 20, 2012

Sallie Mae Encourages Saving for College in Celebration of America Saves Week

Redesigned Upromise.com Makes Earning Cash Back for College Even Easier
NEWARK, Del., Feb 20, 2012 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Sallie Mae, the nation's No. 1 financial services company specializing in education, celebrates America Saves Week, Feb. 19-26, by encouraging more Americans to save for their education.
To assist families in achieving their saving for college goals, Sallie Mae has unveiled a redesigned Upromise.com that enables parents saving for college, students in college, and student loan customers repaying their loans to more easily find opportunities to earn cash back for college. Since Upromise was created in 2001, members have earned a total of $660 million.
"Saving little by little can add up to a lot," said Jack Remondi, president and COO, Sallie Mae. "America Saves Week is a good time to start a habit of saving for college or give your family budget a college savings tune-up."
According to Sallie Mae's national study of college students and parents, "How America Pays for College," 66 percent of parents rely on college savings and income to pay for college. For families who used them, 529 college savings plans provided the highest average amount ($9,729) toward paying for college than any other source of paying-for-college funding.
Upromise by Sallie Mae can help members boost college savings by earning cash back for college when they shop online, dine out or book travel at hundreds of participating companies. Upromise members put their earnings to use in 2011 by transferring nearly $24 million into 529 college savings plans administered by Upromise Investments, $5 million to pay down Sallie Mae student loans and $2.5 million in FDIC-insured Sallie Mae High-Yield Savings Accounts offered through Sallie Mae Bank.
To encourage successful saving, as part of America Saves Week 2012, Sallie Mae will co-host an online event with the America Saves coalition and personal finance blogger Philip Taylor of PTmoney.com. Each co-host will provide tips on how to achieve savings goals and will be available to answer questions on Tuesday, Feb. 21, from 8-9 p.m. EST on Twitter at #SallieMaeSaves.
Sallie Mae SLM -0.19% is the nation's No. 1 financial services company specializing in education. Whether college is a long way off or just around the corner, Sallie Mae turns education dreams into reality for its 25 million customers. With products and services that include college savings programs, scholarship search tools, education loans, tuition insurance, and online banking, Sallie Mae offers solutions that help families save, plan, and pay for college. Sallie Mae also provides financial services to hundreds of college campuses as well as to federal and state governments. Learn more at SallieMae.com. Commonly known as Sallie Mae, SLM Corporation and its subsidiaries are not sponsored by or agencies of the United States of America.
SOURCE: Sallie Mae
Sallie Mae 
        Debby Hohler, 617-454-6741 
        Abigail Harper, 302-283-4060 

Friday, January 20, 2012

The History of Saint Valentine's Day

Valentine's Day started in the time of the Roman Empire. In ancient Rome, February 14th was a holiday to honour Juno. Juno was the Queen of the Roman Gods and Goddesses. The Romans also knew her as the Goddess of women and marriage. The following day, February 15th, began the Feast of Lupercalia.

The lives of young boys and girls were strictly separate. However, one of the customs of the young people was name drawing. On the eve of the festival of Lupercalia the names of Roman girls were written on slips of paper and placed into jars. Each young man would draw a girl's name from the jar and would then be partners for the duration of the festival with the girl whom he chose. Sometimes the pairing of the children lasted an entire year, and often, they would fall in love and would later marry.

Under the rule of Emperor Claudius II Rome was involved in many bloody and unpopular campaigns. Claudius the Cruel was having a difficult time getting soldiers to join his military leagues. He believed that the reason was that roman men did not want to leave their loves or families. As a result, Claudius cancelled all marriages and engagements in Rome. The good Saint Valentine was a priest at Rome in the days of Claudius II. He and Saint Marius aided the Christian martyrs and secretly married couples, and for this kind deed Saint Valentine was apprehended and dragged before the Prefect of Rome, who condemned him to be beaten to death with clubs and to have his head cut off. He suffered martyrdom on the 14th day of February, about the year 270. At that time it was the custom in Rome, a very ancient custom, indeed, to celebrate in the month of February the Lupercalia, feasts in honour of a heathen god. On these occasions, amidst a variety of pagan ceremonies, the names of young women were placed in a box, from which they were drawn by the men as chance directed.

The pastors of the early Christian Church in Rome endeavoured to do away with the pagan element in these feasts by substituting the names of saints for those of maidens. And as the Lupercalia began about the middle of February, the pastors appear to have chosen Saint Valentine's Day for the celebration of this new feaSt. So it seems that the custom of young men choosing maidens for valentines, or saints as patrons for the coming year, arose in this way.