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Streater Visits Cleveland Elementary

Tuesday morning, the Cubs of Cleveland Elementary School in Oakland received a lesson in financial responsibility and a surprise visit from one of their very own Oakland Raiders.

The Raiders, in partnership with US Bank and Operation Hope, presented the "Banking On Our Future" program to the assembled group of 3rd-5th graders at Cleveland Elementary and spoke about the importance of financial literacy.

In addition to the representatives from US Bank and Operation Hope, former Raiders LB Sam Williams was in attendance and WR Rod Streater also stopped by to surprise the kids and speak to them at their morning assembly.

Lisa Joyner, the Project Lead for the day, talked about how important it is to begin the conversation about financial responsibility early in these children's lives.

"Being able to instill it at a very young age and continuously put that in their head will really help them when they reach college age," said Joyner. "It helps them be able to plan for their future and save and invest, so the earlier that you can get that into the minds of people the better."


Photo by Tony Gonzales

Following the morning assembly, Streater and Williams visited classrooms and fielded questions from the students about a wide variety of topics, ranging from how to save money, to how many times Streater had found the end zone in his career.

"Some of these kids have dreams and aspirations of doing big things in life and to embed in their head at an early age about saving money is very important," Streater said. "If you can teach these kids how to save and how to focus on math, things like that, I feel like it will take them a lot further in life."

Williams also echoed Streater's sentiment and spoke about the positive impacts that the program brought to the kids.

"Anytime we get to share some wisdom with these young kids is something great," said Williams. "The feedback, the questions they have, are amazing. They learned about saving money and setting up bank accounts and that's something they can carry with them for life."

The morning was about much more than just financial literacy for the kids of Cleveland Elementary School, and their principal Peter Van Tassel saw it as a day that his students will never forget.

"The Oakland Raiders are something we can point to with a lot of pride as a city," Van Tassel said. "They're obviously an internationally famous football team and to have them come here and show these kids that they actually care about us and our well-being and our future and our education is really huge for the kids."

He continued on and spoke about the importance of educating the youth of Oakland about financial responsibility.

"I think that all it takes is for a kid to know that somebody cares about them to make them want to succeed more, to prove that the person's faith in them was for real. It's not just about the people that are in their close circle already, but understanding themselves within the larger context of our city and that they are the hopes and dreams of our city, and that their success is what we all depend on."

Since its inception, the Operation Hope program has educated over 770,000 students and trained over 20,000 volunteers.

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