School Rules: Dignity and Inclusion

Walter Christopher Elementary School promotes inclusion, period. Through our youth financial literacy program, Banking On Our Future, Chicago-area students received an introduction to money management — essential education to creating a secure future and ensuring inclusion in the system of free enterprise.


Chicago’s Christopher Elementary School is different from most other schools. Here you won’t find students with disabilities separated from their able-bodied peers. They learn together side by side as equals. This daring vision of equality goes beyond classroom dynamics, however. The school has placed a premium on ensuring financial inclusion among all of its students.

“HOPE in a Day” at Chicago’s Christopher Elementary School.

On May 10, HOPE Youth Empowerment Program Manager, Daisy Copeland, along with HOPE Corps volunteers from Old Second National Bank; DWS Distributors, Inc.; Beal Bank; and CIBC banks taught 122 students, grades 4–8, about financial literacy through our award-winning program, Banking On Our Future. “HOPE in a Day”, as the event was dubbed, was made possible through an initiative of our community partner, YMCA of Metro Chicago.

When community partners and volunteers are armed with dynamic programming, transformation occurs. Thanks to healthy partnerships and successful implementation, Banking On Our Future is being touted as a model program for other schools in the Chicago community.


Help give young people just like the students at Christopher Elementary a head start to financial independence. Visit operationhope.org now to say you’re one-on purpose with a one-time donation of $25, or amplify your impact with a gift of $2,500 to sponsor an entire classroom.100% of your gift is program-focused, providing low and moderate-income youth and adults with the financial education and coaching to create a more secure future.

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