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Bankers share financial literacy lessons with Brooklyn students

As banking executives prepared to offer a sorta-kinda-mea culpa to Congress last week, some bankers in New York gave back to society in a different way — by teaching schoolchildren about financial literacy.

Investment bankers from Barclays, the British bank that bought Lehman Brothers’ investment banking arm after Lehman collapsed in the fall of 2008, visited Brooklyn’s Community Partnership Charter School with a gift of 2,000 books for the school library. They also spent the morning reading aloud to students in Toti Little and Anna Plunkett’s second grade classroom and left each of the students with a book to take home.

The book? The Berenstain Bears’ Dollars and Sense, in which Mama Bear teaches her cubs how to manage their allowances using a checkbook. (Presumably it does not recommend investing their allowances in sub-prime mortgages.)

Charter schools in New York are a pet cause for Wall Street philanthropy, although the organization that arranged the donation, First Book, provides books to all kinds of schools and community groups serving low-income students.

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