Book Babies Bright Futures savings accounts help unlock opportunities for families to build a financial foundation to realize their children’s dreams for college or career. Book Harvest was humbled and honored to receive a generous grant from the Angelina Merenda O’Bar Trust in 2021 to launch Bright Futures.
With Bright Futures, Book Harvest will contribute $100 per year to a child’s Bright Futures account for each completed year of a child’s participation in Book Babies, up to a total of five years. This gift of $500, plus any additional amounts that parents and guardians add to the account as well as interest earned, can be used for the child’s education or career needs when they turn 18.
Studies have shown that children who have a $500 savings account are more likely to enroll in college and to graduate from college than those who don't. You can learn more about the research on the transformative power of children's savings accounts here.
Angelina Merenda O'Bar
Book Harvest was humbled and honored to receive a generous grant from the Angelina Merenda O’Bar Trust in 2021 to launch Bright Futures. Angelina Merenda O’Bar's life was defined by her passionate advocacy for young children and her unwavering commitment to their success.
Angelina Merenda O'Bar was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1935. She grew up in Long Island and married Jesse O'Bar in 1956. The couple relocated to Chickasha, Oklahoma in 1964, where Angelina received her bachelor's degree in education from the University of Science and Art and her Master of Arts degree from The University of Oklahoma.
Committed to early childhood education, Angelina worked for over 45 years as a teacher and early education professional. She first began teaching in 1967 with Chickasha Public Schools, ultimately becoming the Director of Washita Valley Head Start. After 20 years with Head Start, she developed the Growing Up Strong program with The University of Oklahoma's Center for Child and Family Development, where she served as project director starting in 1987.
Throughout her extensive career, Angelina was a consultant and advocate for early childhood education. She published several journal articles, received numerous awards, and served on many notable boards and committees. She was also named a delegate to White House Conference on Children.
Angelina O'Bar passed away on February 22, 2020. Her legacy is felt through her posthumous commitment to early childhood education. Ms. O'Bar's memory will live on in the lives of Book Babies whose futures hold enormous promise, made even more possible through her generous legacy of establishing Bright Futures children’s savings accounts.