We all know that Americans have  among the lowest savings rates of any industrialized country. Well, we’re about to get some help.

The U.S. Department of Treasury just launched a contest that’s designed to inspire kids in grades K-12 to set financial goals and save for them. The “Save Out Loud” contest invites kids to send in their savings stories for a chance to win prizes from the Department. The grand prize is a live video call with Rosie Rios, the Treasurer of the United States (a much cooler prize would be to let the winner sign some dollar bills, but that’s just not in the cards, so a chat with the Treasurer is the next best thing).

The contest runs from now through November 25, 2012. Entry info on the next page.

Here’s some more info from a media advisory just released by the Department of Treasury:

“Whether they’re saving for a baseball glove, a first car or a college education, students of all ages have a reason to save,” said Treasurer Rios. “I encourage teachers, parents and kids everywhere to capture and submit these savings stories as part of our nationwide challenge, and as a fun, but important reminder of the benefits of saving.”

Students* have two ways to enter the Ready.Save.Grow. “Save Out Loud” Contest:

  • Photo: Submit an aspirational savings snapshot along with a description of up to 250 words
  • Video: Submit a 90-second personal video sharing a savings story

Entries should be original, creative and support the concept of saving. Prizes will be awarded for best photo and video in each of the following categories: Grades K – 6 and grades 7 – 12. Grand Prize Winners will be determined by a panel of judges, including Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios and Bureau of the Public Debt Commissioner Van Zeck.  A Popular Vote Winner will also be awarded for best photo and video in each category based on public votes received during the contest. All contest winners will receive official commemorative prizes from the Treasury Department.

“Save Out Loud” Contest entries will be accepted through Sunday, Nov. 25, 2012. Students, teachers or families may enter as many times as they wish, but only one winner will be selected per contest entrant. Winners will be announced in early December. For more information about the “Save Out Loud” Contest or to enter, go to www.facebook.com/readysavegrow or www.treasurydirect.gov/readysavegrow.

*Parents must enter on behalf of children under 13, and give consent for children 13 and above. Teachers may also submit an entry on behalf of individual students or classroom teams of students (up to six members) with parental permission.