- Hillside Middle School
Students Learn the Importance of Saving with School Banking Program
November 2, 2022
Students in our elementary schools are getting an important lesson in financial literacy thanks to a partnership with PSE Credit Union.
This school year, all our elementary schools have a school banking program to help our students in grades K – 4 start savings accounts and learn the value of managing money.
Tabitha Baszynski, Vice-President of Marketing & Member Relation at PSE Credit Union, said PSE has been working with the Parma Schools for several years now, but this is the first year that every elementary school in the district has a school banking program.
“We started a school banking program at Pleasantview Elementary and then most recently a program at Green Valley Elementary in 2019,” she described. “The program only included each of those schools and was run by our credit union staff. Earlier this year, Superintendent Smialek approached the credit union and asked if we would partner with the Parma City Schools to offer a school banking program for all elementary-age students. We were thrilled and agreed to assist the schools with this financial literacy initiative, so we created all of the banking materials, account programming, and set up the process to be run by a teacher liaison along with a few student helpers at each of the eight elementary schools.”
The first bank day at our elementary schools was October 12, and students could open a Pennie the Puppy Kids Savings Account with parent/guardian permission and a deposit of $5. Banking takes place each Wednesday and students can deposit up to $20 cash weekly.
“Each week credit union staff go and collect the students’ banking deposits from the elementary schools,” Baszynski shared. “But the real excitement happens at the school banking days on Wednesday mornings when the student helpers count and collect deposits, record transactions in the kids' registers, and pass out prizes to reward students for their participation.”
Students receive a blue bank book to do deposit transactions. Every time students make a deposit, they earn a paw print stamp, which can be redeemed for prizes. In addition, students can come to any of the three PSE Credit Union branches to make deposits, withdrawals, or claim even larger prizes. The credit union also offers special activities, holidays, and “Pennie the Puppy Days’’ for children who have a Pennie the Puppy Kids Savings account.
“The main goal for school banking is to teach kids basic money management skills from a young age,” Baszynski explained. “Learning how to make deposits, saving up for something they really want by banking each week, and then being able to purchase that item are all important life lessons. A program like this is so important to have in the schools because it helps to build a foundation for financial literacy and assists the schools, parents, and teachers in expanding upon those important life skills.”
Jacqueline Marconi, principal at Green Valley Elementary School, said this has been a great partnership and has made an impact on students in her building.
“We enjoy partnering with PSE Credit Union and are glad to have this program back not only at Green Valley but throughout all the elementary buildings in the district,” she expressed. “Students learn the importance of saving money and get to see how much they are saving over a long period of time. It teaches them responsibility, how saving money each week grows their bank account, and they enjoy positive interactions with the PSE workers. Pennie the Puppy has even come to our Fall and Spring Festivals to promote banking and saving money.”
Parma City School District is excited that all elementary students have the opportunity to learn about money management and the importance of saving at a young age.
“Our students come from various backgrounds,” Amy Szeremet, Administrative Specialist for Initiative Implementation in PCSD’s Curriculum and Instruction Department, shared. “A lot of them may not have experience with what the bank process is, so to have them see what the different roles are in receiving money and saving money is very beneficial for our students at a young age. We are grateful for this partnership with our local credit union.”
To learn more about Pennie the Puppy Kids Club at PSE Credit Union, visit https://psecreditunion.org/member-clubs/.