Independent Bank Announces Support for Financial Literacy Curriculum in Michigan High Schools

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Michael M. Magee Jr., president and CEO of Independent Bank, announced his support for legislation that allows financial education courses in Michigan high schools to count for graduation credit. Independent Bank associates will visit local schools to discuss the principles of financial literacy with children and young adults and Independent Bank is partnering with GreenPath Debt Solutions to offer free literature, workbooks and teaching guides in select school districts throughout Michigan

Teach Children to Save Day

Michael M. Magee Jr., president and CEO of Independent Bank, announced his support for legislation that allows financial education courses in Michigan high schools to count for graduation credit.

"Financial literacy is an important aspect of any education," Magee said. "It is important for young people to understand the basics of maintaining a bank account as well as the principles of credit and debt before they graduate. Understanding these principles can aid young people as they begin living independently."

Enacted in late December, the legislation amends the Revised School Code (Public Act 451 of 1976) to include a course in financial literacy in a list of specific courses that satisfy Michigan high school math credits under the Michigan Merit Standard. Introduced as Senate Bill 834, the new legislation adds emphasis to the importance of financial literacy by specifically listing it as a choice for Michigan students.

Magee, who serves as a member of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Detroit Branch Board of Directors and the ABA America's Community Bankers Council, urges parents to reinforce financial literacy education at home. "Lessons can be found for children of all ages," Magee encouraged. "Young children can be taught the importance of saving their money to purchase a sought-after item and teens can learn how to budget for household groceries."

Magee's belief in the importance of educating young people about making good financial decisions is shared by the bank's associates in more than 100 offices across the state. Each year, Independent Bank associates visit local schools to discuss the principles of financial literacy with children and young adults. Two major initiatives include the American Bankers Association's "Teach Children to Save Day" and "Get Smart About Credit Day." Through these two programs, 235 Independent Bank associates shared financial literacy lessons with 13,670 Michigan students in 2008.

Continuing its support of financial literacy education in accordance with the newly passed bill, Independent Bank is partnering with GreenPath Debt Solutions to offer free literature, workbooks and teaching guides in select school districts throughout the state. The program, entitled "Banking Is," supports the Michigan Department of Education guidelines for math credit requirements.

About Independent Bank Corporation
Independent Bank Corporation (NASDAQ: IBCP) is a Michigan-based bank holding company with total assets of over $3 billion. Founded as First National Bank of Ionia in 1864, Independent Bank Corporation now operates over 100 offices across Michigan's Lower Peninsula through one state-chartered bank subsidiary. This subsidiary (Independent Bank) provides a full range of financial services, including commercial banking, mortgage lending, investments and title services. Payment plans to purchase vehicle service contracts are also available through Mepco Finance Corporation, a wholly owned subsidiary of Independent Bank. Independent Bank Corporation is committed to providing exceptional personal service and value to its customers, stockholders and the communities it serves. For more information, please visit IndependentBank.com.

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