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BIU books to help teach children about building savings

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Making the message stick: Micah Davis, left, and Peggy Burns are hoping to teach the importance of saving through the sale of books and a Bermuda Credit Union account aimed at children (Photograph supplied)

Peggy Burns’ message is clear: if you want your child to grow their savings, pay attention to what they read.

She’s selling two books that she believes will help young people achieve that goal.

Our Lady of Labour, by the late Ottiwell Simmons, and The History of the Bermuda Industrial Union, by the late Ira Philip, include “historical photos and narratives depicting the birth pangs, politically motivated attempts of union-busting, and the growth and development of Bermuda’s labour movement of the 1940s”.

The hardcover books will be available for three days in the BIU foyer, starting Wednesday. Every pair sold will entitle one child to open a “Children Let Us Build Our Bermudian Savings” account with the Bermuda Credit Union.

Micah Davis, the general manager of the Bermuda Credit Union, established it for children aged 18 and younger.

“Often people are told to save, but few are actually taught how to save,” Ms Burns said. “So it's through exposing children to that subject material that would reinforce how to save.

“Children learn by example and [every parent does not] cultivate the good habit or discipline of teaching their children or introducing them to books and materials that would create or build a quality of life that would make them comfortable and also position them to help others who are less fortunate.”

For the message to stick it is better to start while children are young, she added.

“We're not talking about saving money, we're not talking about money management in primary school. And so it's the responsibility of the parents to undertake this. I feel that if one saves a little, consistently, eventually he or she will save a lot.”

Children should learn the importance of “paying themselves first” so the money is there “for emergencies and so on and so forth”.

“Really, it's about quality of life and also general well being. It's all encompassing,” she said.

The books are important tools as the Credit Union is an affiliate of the BIU, Ms Burns added.

“The idea of the Credit Union came from a Union member many years ago. And so the history of the Bermuda Industrial Union, it's really about all of us.

“Everybody benefited as a result of the actions or the work of the Bermuda Industrial Union – those who were for labour and those who were anti-labour.”

Ms Burns has been selling books by Bermudian authors since 2003. The books by Mr Simmons and Mr Philip are notable as “the history of the Union is the history of the people of Bermuda”.

“The children's savings account came out of this whole concept. It’s a by-product of the whole concept of the importance of people solidifying a financial future for themselves.

“The Union was about a movement, about improving the quality of lives of Bermudians. So it all ties in. And I believe that they should really be in the homes of the people of Bermuda.”

Both books are part of her library at home and were shared with her grandchildren when they were younger, she added.

“Reading opens the door, educates the world and opens doors to opportunities. We're not born knowing. We grow, we learn, and then we grow some more.”

About 1,000 children have invested their money with the Credit Union since the account opened in December 2009.

Ms Burns called it “commendable” and was glad to do her part to help young people continue on that path.

“I see in a way whereby I can help children to begin starting on a savings journey. And with the sale of both those titles, I'll be able to do that.”

For people who cannot afford to buy both books now, Ms Burns will accept a down payment.

“I'll accept $10 and give them a receipt, which would reflect their balance. And when they've made full payments they'll get both the books and they'd be free to enrol their child in the children's savings programme.

“It's not about me going out there to make a whole lot of money. I would love to see our stories, our history, in the hands of Bermudian people, the people of Bermuda, because they were written for that purpose.”

Ms Burns hopes that a video by the Ubongo Kids of Tanzania, will also help inspire young people to save.

“If you look at the video you see they're starting with coins. I'm saying start with whatever you have.

“Some people say [they will] start saving money when they get a [pay] increase, or [when they are] much older; when [they have] a full-time job. The time to start is now. It doesn't matter how much you have. If it's just one cent, put it away. Save a little, consistently, and eventually you will have a lot.”

Our Lady of Labour and The History of the Bermuda Industrial Union cost $30 each. They will be available in the BIU foyer for three days starting Wednesday, from 9am to 5pm. For more information call 297-1624 or e-mail nanapeggy@livenet.bm

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Published September 08, 2023 at 7:45 am (Updated September 09, 2023 at 8:06 am)

BIU books to help teach children about building savings

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