Student-Run Bank Helps Elementary Students Save

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URBANDALE, Iowa – Students are learning at an early age the value of putting money in the bank, and kids in one school don’t have to go far for the lesson.

With cash, checks and deposit slips, students at Rolling Green Elementary School in Urbandale have everything they need to run a bank at their school. Student Jack Neas said, “This is the student bank and we are helping students start their savings accounts. We’ve got five percent interest for the students, so it’s probably way more than there is out in the bank.”

13 fourth and fifth graders at the Urbandale elementary school work at the bank as an extra-curricular activity. It’s open before school every Thursday. Fourth grade student Tyler Heitink said, “I’ve learned more about counting money and responsibility, like getting up in the morning.”

They help preschool to fifth grade students open accounts and deposit money. Fifth grade student Payton Johnson said, “Mowing, chores and basically stuff that I find, and my grandparents give me for my birthdays.”

The Rolling Green Bank has been in business for five years, with the help of First American Bank. Chris Lindo with First American Bank said, “We take deposits here. Students can come and deposit up to $50 per week. And, then we take them back to the bank and process them into their student bank account.”

Deposits for all the students average about $300 a week. Some have put away serious cash. Lindo said, “We’ve had kids use it for new iPhones. We’ve had kids use it for trips overseas. We’ve actually seen a lot of them graduate from the school and have gone on to seventh and eighth grade and continued to save.”

Heintink has saved about $2,400. He said, “My mom says so I can have a car. I say just so I can have money.”

First American Bank has student banks in two other schools. Students must attend one of those schools to open the special accounts.

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