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Press Release

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Elizabeth Hirst
(850) 562-5300

SunTrust Foundation Awards $300,000 Grant to Volunteer USA to Launch
What’s on the Menu? Financial Education Program for Families

~ New Program will Educate Parents and Children about the
Key Ingredients to Understanding Value of Money ~

Tallahassee, FL – Volunteer USA Foundation and the SunTrust Foundation today announced a new partnership aimed at helping young children and their parents become better prepared at managing money in the future.

SunTrust Foundation has awarded a $300,000 grant to the nonprofit Volunteer USA, to create and implement a two-part program: What's on the Menu? Financial Education for Families geared to parents and What’s on the Ledger? Financial Education for the Classroom designed for teachers of 3rd-5th grade students. The program will be offered at no cost to schools or parents.

The two-part education program will be distributed to schools beginning January 2010. An initial 200 elementary schools in Orange, Seminole, Lee, Collier, Volusia, Escambia, Leon, Marion, Pinellas, Sarasota and Broward counties will receive the free program and dozens of teachers will be trained by Volunteer USA to provide financial education workshops to families.

“Today’s tough economic challenges have required Florida families to tighten their belts and look for ways to keep their hard earned money in their wallets,” said Governor Charlie Crist. “An educational financial planning program for students would not only reinforce important math skills, but also teach important, practical habits that can be used at home with family in their everyday lives.”

The What’s on the Ledger? classroom program will provide students with lessons and worksheets aligned with math and financial literacy standards. The lessons will focus on teaching kids about banking, budgeting and saving through the four core math skills including addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. In addition, participating teachers will receive complimentary materials that will connect the classroom work with the math skills being practiced at home. These resources were created with Scholastic, the global children’s education, publishing and media company.

The fun and interactive What’s on the Menu? family program incorporates a “menu-based” theme, where parents help their children learn how to tally up restaurant bills and calculate tips. Parents will be invited to evening workshops to encourage family involvement. The workshops will incorporate a mock restaurant setting where families will learn about the dinner bill, tipping and financial management. Parents will receive additional take-home materials that will enhance the learning experience at home.

“We are pleased to partner with Volunteer USA in this important educational effort to increase students’ and parents’ understanding of financial matters, including the value of money, budgeting, saving and the banking system. We believe this program can give students and parents tools to help them put their personal financial affairs in order, which will ultimately improve their quality of life and future financial security,” said Thomas G. Kuntz, chairman, president and CEO, SunTrust Bank, Florida.

The Florida Department of Education (DOE), also a partner in the project, will encourage schools to take advantage of the benefits of this no-cost family financial education program. DOE will also include information about the program through the state’s education Web site and outreach resources.

“Florida’s newly developed math standards will help ensure our students are mastering the math concepts and skills they need to succeed today, and are better prepared for future careers and financial wellbeing,” said Education Commissioner Dr. Eric J. Smith. “The Department is excited to offer these family financial education workshops at our schools as a way to help our students and parents connect basic math skills with their routine, daily activities.”

For more information about the Financial Education for Families program and Volunteer USA visit www.volunteerusafoundation.org or contact Teecy.Matthews@volunteerusafund.org.