Astoria Federal Savings Announces Top Winners of Its 4th Annual 'Teach Children to Save' Essay Contest

Grand Prize Winner Receives a Personal Computer

Astoria Federal's 'Education First' Initiatives in Action

Aug 24, 2009, 15:30 ET from Astoria Federal Savings

LAKE SUCCESS, N.Y., Aug. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Astoria Federal Savings held its 4th annual essay contest for children, ages 5-12, asking the students to complete the statement: "If I save a lot today, in the future I could. . ." The essay contest was part of Astoria Federal's fun and educational Teach Children to Save Celebrations beginning April 19, in every neighborhood branch throughout Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, Suffolk and Westchester.

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Of the nearly 450 entries received, Astoria Federal judges selected seven top winners and one local winner from each branch location. The grand prize winner was 9-year-old Briana Piro from Lynbrook, who received a new personal computer. In her essay, the West End Elementary School student writes that with her savings she would build a "really nice apartment building for the poor and elderly" that offers everything they could possibly need including a doctor's office, library, playground and day care center. Her complex would also have a park where families could have picnics, fly kites, and plant a garden.

Three first-place winners were chosen, and each received a $500 Savings Bond. They are:

  • 6-year-old Brianna Maher of Whitestone, Queens
  • 10-year-old Michelle Pacala of Port Jefferson, Long Island
  • 11-year-old Alexander Jaiserie of South Ozone Park, Queens

Three second-place winners were chosen, and each received a $250 Savings Bond. They are:

  • 6-year-old Tianna Strachan of Flatlands, Brooklyn
  • 9-year-old Rubeya Zahirah Nasrudin of Richmond Hill, Queens
  • 12-year-old Charles Morse of Roosevelt, Long Island

Every child who was selected as a local winner from their community won a $50 U.S. Savings Bond, a Teach Children to Save Celebration Award Certificate and an Education First medal. The top seven winners and their families were invited to a reception at Astoria Federal's Lake Success Headquarters on July 23, where they were congratulated by bank executives and received their prizes.

Most of the young writers said they wished to make the world a better place. They would use their saved money for college and to save the environment, stamp out hunger and disease, and help others less fortunate. Many simply wished to support their families and plan for retirement.

"This contest is a fun, rewarding and thought-provoking way to get young people to start saving for their future goals," said Astoria Federal Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing Brian Edwards. "As a premier community bank, this is just one of the ways we show our commitment to building financial literacy and to strengthening the communities that our branches serve."

Astoria Federal's Education First initiatives include the Student Savers and Bank-at-School programs, as well as the Kids Tools for School Collection Drive to help children be prepared on the first day of school by providing them with new school supplies, and The First Home Club(TM) to promote homeownership. These programs and others were all designed to encourage lifelong learning. For additional information about Astoria Federal's Education First financial literacy programs, please call 1-800-ASTORIA.

Astoria Financial Corporation, with assets of $21.1 billion, is the holding company for Astoria Federal Savings and Loan Association. Established in 1888, Astoria Federal, with deposits in New York totaling $13.6 billion, is the largest thrift depository headquartered in New York and embraces its philosophy of "Putting people first" by providing the customers and local communities it serves with quality financial products and services through 85 convenient banking office locations and multiple delivery channels, including its enhanced website, Astoria Federal commands the fourth largest deposit market share in the attractive Long Island market, which includes Brooklyn, Queens, Nassau, and Suffolk counties with a population exceeding that of 38 individual states. Astoria Federal originates mortgage loans through its banking and loan production offices in New York, an extensive broker network covering sixteen states, primarily along the East Coast, and the District of Columbia, and through correspondent relationships covering seventeen states and the District of Columbia.

SOURCE Astoria Federal Savings