Student Savings Program Encourages Financial Success
By Elizabeth Martinez // November 24, 2012
Planning For Future
BREVARD COUNTY • PORT ST. JOHN, FLORIDA – Saving money in today’s world seems so farfetched that with the slightest mention to an adult, their first response would be, “How can I save money if there is no money?”
What if there was a way of guaranteeing that your son or your daughter would have a growing amount of money saved up by the time they are out of elementary school?
A program that provides and promises this is called Money Masters and it was created by Community Credit Union 14 years ago.
Deborah Blair, the CCU Education Program Director, said that Money Masters is a branch savings club for kids, with elementary school students serving as branch tellers.
“The objective of this program is to increase the knowledge of today’s youth regarding financial products and services,” Blair said. “It also creates an educational environment in which young people will have hands on experience in a financial setting.”
Run by students
The student branches at the elementary schools are strictly for kids, run by kids.
Students can only make deposits, not withdrawals. The amount of the deposit can be as little as a quarter or as big as a student’s birthday money.
This program was launched for students up to age 12 and operates like a regular savings account.
Students are able to open an account with as little as a dollar with no membership fee. When a student makes 12 deposits to their school branch account, Community Credit Union will deposit $5 to their account as a savings reward, Blair said.
There are currently four elementary schools and one high school participating in this program here in Brevard County.
Local schools participating include Enterprise Elementary in Port St. John, Gardendale Elementary on Merritt Island, Croton Elementary in Melbourne, Port Malabar Elementary in Palm Bay and Space Coast Jr./Sr. High School in Port St. John.
To guarantee that the children’s money is being safely deposited, there are three different tiers of monitoring.
Above them are the head tellers, who are high school students from the ATEPS academy that observe the students while they work and also double check that the money, along with the deposit slips, have been placed according to order.
Lastly, Blair reviews the accounts and the deposit slips, reassuring students that the money is in accordance to what is on the slips and she also inputs the money into the students’ accounts.
Deborah Lubbers, the Director of the Academy of Teacher Education and Public Service at Space Coast Jr./Sr. High School thinks the program is invaluable.
“Learning to save money as a child will establish patterns that will eventually carry over into adult behavior and it gives the teller trainers a personal experience and a personal perspective of the advantages of saving at a young age,” Lubbers said.
For more information, visit your local Community Credit Union bank or online go to www.ccuflorida.org.