Business, Education, News

Young bankers learn a penny saved is a penny earned … and stuff like that

Young bankers

With the economy in the rough shape that it has been in for the last several years, it probably wouldn’t be terribly bad to start educating people about money at a young age.

Even in a good economy that probably isn’t a bad idea.

DSCF2166 compressedFifth Third Bank started doing this in 2004 with its Young Banker’s Club (YBC) and just introduced a new version of signature financial educational program for elementary students.

The young bankers club sets its sights on fifth graders in the hope of giving them a sound financial foundation by explaining the basic ideas of what money is, how it is earned and how it is used.  YBC lessons are taught in the class room often by a Fifth Third employee, who also acts as mentor to the YBC.

The lessons help teach the kids the basics in order to instill an appreciation for money, and especially the value of savings and financial education.  Those who finish will receive a certificate, and, if Fifth Third’s stated goal comes to pass, become a step closer to “financial empowerment for all ages.”

The new element, which some call the most innovative, is the new vault video game challenge, which encourages students to complete money related tasks to unlock the levels of a vault.   After every level is completed students find out what lays inside.  As students progress in the game, and eventually complete, it they will:

  • Identify what money is
  • Understand the difference between wants and needs
  • Make basic money calculations
  • Explore various careers and how much income they earn
  • Learn the basics of the stock market
  • Understand the basics of a bank branch or financial center
  • Create budgets and study spending
  • Examine interest and credit cards
  • Practice managing a bank accountant learn how to create a business plan for a small businessDSCF2170 compressed
  • “The new Young Bankers Club is an exciting and creative way for students who attend school in our markets to be engaged,” said Byna Elliott, senior vice president and director of community affairs, Fifth Third (Eastern Michigan).  “YBC is a fun and educational journey that will start them on a path of success. We offer the free program because it will have a lasting impact on the individual lives of thousands of fifth-grade students.”

The YBC’s curriculum meets the fifth grade requirements for math on both the state and national level.  The YBC has five basic levels – Money Basics, Money Matters, Spending Money, Budgeting and Personal Banking.  All lessons are written for the appropriate age level and include standard-based and real-world math problems.

The Young Bankers club is already set up in several schools including Clark, JE Prepatory Academy, David Ellis Academy West, Burton International School, Greenfield Union Elementary, Rutherford Winans Academy, Chandler Park Academy (Harper Woods), Fitzgerald Bethune Elementary School (Detroit), Intermediate Learning Center (Ypsilanti), Alcott Elementary School and Herrington Elementary School (Pontiac).

Interested schools located in Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky, Illinois, Michigan, Georgia, Florida, North Carolina, West Virginia, Tennessee, Missouri and Pennsylvania are encouraged to contact their local Fifth Third Bank CRA Manager

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