ING DIRECT Names 2007 Financial Literacy Grant Winners

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113 educators will receive grants from ING DIRECT to teach money management concepts to children.

ING DIRECT, the nation's largest direct bank, is awarding grants to 113 elementary school educators as part of its efforts to improve financial literacy among American children. Through the Planet Orange Financial Literacy Awards, each grant winner will receive between $200 and $1,000 to implement projects that will help young students learn money management concepts. To view the grant winners, visit ING DIRECT's Planet Orange website at http://www.orangekids.com/awards.

"The Planet Orange Financial Literacy Award grant winners are examples to all of us who want our youth to become fiscally responsible adults," said Arkadi Kuhlmann, President and CEO, ING DIRECT. "The goal of our annual awards program is to give these talented teachers the tools they need to help young people learn about money and saving at an early age."

The 2007 grant winners represent 28 states and range from Kindergarten through 8th grade teachers. The greatest number of recipients came from California, with 15 teachers winning grants. More than 250 educators competed for the $100,000 in available grant money for projects that will be implemented within the 2007-2008 school year.

The winning innovative programs designed to engage children in the world of money and personal finance include: an entrepreneurial farmers' market to enhance the business acumen of fifth graders in Rogers, Ark.; a mini-community developed and managed by kindergarten through fifth grade students in Alpharetta, Ga; financing and cultivating a school garden by eighth graders in Redlands, Calif.; a family finance night for first graders and their parents in Garden City, Kan.; and analyzing the financial aspects found within literature by seventh graders in Dover, Del.

Open to K-8 teachers in all 50 states including the District of Columbia, the grant awards challenged educators to submit grant proposals for school financial literacy projects and programs. Applicants must write an essay explaining their proposal and providing justification for the resources requested. To request grant money for financial literacy projects during the 2008-2009 school year, K-8 teachers can apply for the Planet Orange Financial Literacy Awards between October 15, 2007 and January 31, 2008. Winners will be announced in April 2008 during Financial Literacy Month.

The 2007 grant recipients were determined by a distinguished panel of judges that consisted of teachers, educational administrators and financial literacy experts. These grant awards are an extension of Planet Orange, ING DIRECT's dynamic, interactive website designed to open children's eyes to the world of money.

About ING DIRECT
ING DIRECT, the nation's largest direct bank and fourth-largest thrift, is dedicated to inspiring Americans to become a nation of savers. Since its inception in 2000, more than 5.4 million Americans have entrusted their savings with ING DIRECT, building the bank to $70 billion in assets. For more information on ING DIRECT, or to learn more about the bank's high-value products, including the Orange Savings Account and the Orange Mortgage, visit http://www.ingdirect.com or call 1-800-ING DIRECT.

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