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MISSISSIPPI, MARYLAND and TENNESSEE STUDENTS WIN NATIONAL 1998 SAVINGS BONDS POSTER CONTEST

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

June 2, 1998

Treasurer of the United States Mary Ellen Withrow will present the three national winners in the 7th Annual Savings Bonds Poster Contest with awards during a ceremony at the Capital Children's Museum, 800 Third St., NE, Washington, D.C., on Thursday, June 4, 1998, at 10:00 a.m.

The three winning posters are the work of a fourth-grader from Mississippi and two sixth-graders from Maryland and Tennessee. Their posters, and those of the other 48 first-place winners, will be displayed in more than 70 airports around the country this Fall. But first the posters will be exhibited in Washington D.C., from June 4-12 at the Capital Children's Museum and then at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on 14th Street, SW, until the end of August.

The first-place winner, Beth Alexander, a fourth-grader from Alexander Academy Home School, Little Rock, Mississippi, will receive a $5,000 U.S. Savings Bond and her poster will be used to promote the sale of bonds nationwide in 1999. When asked what she is going to do with her award, Beth said, “I plan on holding on to my savings bonds to help pay for college.” Along with Beth's winning poster to promote savings bonds in the 1999 campaign, will be the slogan: “Take Stock in America with U.S. Savings Bonds.”

The second- and third-place winners, Jessica Gonder, a sixth-grader at E. Russell Hicks Middle School, Hagerstown, Maryland, and Sterling Boone Gray, a sixth-grader at Porter Elementary School, Maryville, Tennessee, will receive $2,000 and $1,000 in savings bonds, respectively.

The poster contest began in 1992 as a fun way for students to learn the value of saving. “The poster contest provides a creative way for kids to learn about savings and U.S. Savings Bonds, as well as a way to possibly win valuable savings bonds to invest in their future,” said Van Zeck, Commissioner of the Public Debt. The Bureau of the Public Debt manages the Savings Bond Program.

Sponsor of this year's contest is Kenneth Derr, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Chevron Corporation who chaired the 1997 U.S. Savings Bond Volunteer Committee. The trip to Washington, D.C., for this year's winners is also being made possible by the following sponsors who have donated their services: the Mayflower Hotel, Gray Line Tours of Washington, Planet Hollywood, and the Hard Rock Cafe.

State winners were selected earlier this year. First-place entries from each State and the District of Columbia then were submitted to a panel of judges for selection of the national winners.

Savings bonds have many advantages for investors. Bonds can be purchased through financial institutions for a minimum investment of $25 for a $50 bond. They are also available through payroll savings plans in many private companies and other organizations. Savings bonds are safe, backed by the U.S. Government and can be replaced if lost, stolen, or destroyed. Series EE bonds are exempt from State and local income taxes and the Federal income tax liability on earnings can be deferred until the bonds are redeemed or reach final maturity. There are special tax benefits available when bonds are used for education. Investors who qualify can exclude all or part of the interest earned in Series EE bonds from income when the bonds are redeemed to pay for post-secondary education.

Series EE savings bonds purchased on or after May 1, 1997, earn interest based on market yields for 5-year Treasury securities right from the start. Now, Series EE bonds increase in value every month. The rate for new Series EE bonds is 5.06 percent from May through October 1998. For more information on savings bonds visit our web site: www.savingsbonds.gov or www.publicdebt.treas.gov.

MEDIA ARE INVITED. CAMERAS MUST BE SET UP BY 9:30 A.M. ON THURSDAY, JUNE 4, 1998, AT THE CHILDREN'S MUSEUM AUDITORIUM, 800 3RD STREET, N.E., WASHINGTON, D.C. 20002.