NARRAGANSETT- The Narragansett Elementary School partnered with Westerly Community Credit Union to kick off the first day of the Save for America School Savings Program on Tuesday.
Save for America is a not-for-profit organization and was founded in 1980. It is the only program endorsed by The White House offices of Policy Development and Consumer Affairs, as well as the U.S. Department of Treasury and Education.
The Save for America School Savings program is a bank-at-school program designed to help students learn the basics of saving money by filling our deposit slips, adding deposits in their savings books as well as learning to set goals and save their money for something special, said Westerly Community Credit Union School Program Specialist Kim Gates.
“This is really a great chance for students to learn at an early age how to save and even for them to learn the value of saving,” said Gates. “When the children get into the habit of saving at an early age, it definitely sticks with them and benefits them as they get older.”
NES learned about the program through the Chariho school district that had previously held bank days in the schools and the feedback was very positive, said NES Principal Gail Dandurand.
Once a week, students go to school and make a deposit with the help of an adult volunteer. The volunteer takes the student deposits to a local bank and makes one lump sum deposit into a holding account. The next business day, through the Federal Reserve Banking System, Save for America debits the holding account and credits all the students’ accounts with their deposits.
The program is for grades two through four, and is focused on building student’s excitement for saving. The program is completely voluntary and if students forget to bring money on the bank days there is a penny jar available for them to use, said Gates.
“Even if it is just a penny it is important for them to get in the habit of saving,” said Gates. “Each week they have different incentives for saving and they are working towards a prize. One little boy said he was saving for Celtics tickets, and I think that is great.”
Parent and community volunteers run school bank days during lunch and recess break and guide the children through the bank day process by helping them count their money, filling out their deposit slip and making sure they visit the computer station to have their deposit entered by a parent.
Parent and member of the Recreation Advisory Board Maria Rocchio volunteered on the first bank day and said that this was a great opportunity for children to learn the value of saving.
“This is great for children because they can really learn how to save and the value of money,” said Rocchio. “Especially like my children who think money grows on trees, it is a great thing for them to learn.”
If students missed the first bank day, they can still participate on any of the future bank days. Applications to register for Save For America are available in the NES Main Office. For the month of November, bank days will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 5 and Tuesday, Nov. 19.
“I am so pleased with the excitement of the school administration, parent volunteers and students,” said Gates. “The program is off to a great start.”
For more information about the Save for America School Savings Program, students can ask their teachers, or parents can contact Kim Gates at 401-596-7000 x2124 or firstname.lastname@example.org .