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Student-run banks provide real-world skills and learningCooke Principal with bank associates and students

March 2, 2012

As a way to help youngsters become money savvy and learn fiscal responsibility at an early age, the George L. Cooke and Emma C. Chase Elementary Schools in collaboration with Provident Bank began on-campus banking earlier this year.

At Cooke, Provident Assistant Vice President and Business Manager Cheryl Stickle and Client Service Associate Michael Rivera worked with school liaison Kelly Mitchell to open the Monticello Panthers (MP) branch. At Chase, International Baccalaureate (IB) Coach Linda Holmes worked with the Provident duo to help students establish the United Bank branch.

Learning to be fiscally responsible

Each bank is run by a staff of fifth grade students who had to apply and interview for their positions, which includes a branch manager, customer service representatives, public relations and marketing personnel, and bank tellers. Students hired to work at their school bank also had to go through a rigorous training program specific to their job title.

Bank associate and staff work with student bankersThis included creating an advertising campaign to inform other students about the services offered at the in-school branches.Students learn about banking computer program Provident officials oversee all transactions and allow only monetary deposits by students into a youth savings account. If a child wants to withdraw money, he or she must go to a community branch of Provident Bank with a parent.

This program teaches children how to be responsible with money,” said Ms. Stickle, who works at Provident Bank in Rock Hill. “We also talk with the students about the benefits of saving and investing.”

The school banks are open one morning a week for any student in kindergarten through grade 5 to open or manage an account. All they need is a parent’s signature, identification, the capability to write their name and a little bit of money. Once they qualify for an account, the fifth grade bank staff will walk them through the process step by step.

Photos: Bank associate works with student bankers

Chase IB Coach Linda Holmes and Provident Bank Assistant Vice President Cheryl Stickle explain the banking computer program to fifth-graders, from left, United Bank customer service representative Kelly Smith and bank teller Ashley Mancroni.

From left, teaching assistant Kelly Mitchell and Provident Bank official Cheryl Stickle oversee a savings account deposit at the Cooke MP Bank. Student customer service representatives Mackenzie Turick and Emilie Mulhern guide fellow student Alexandra Rosenstein through the process.

From left, Cooke Elementary students Nathaniel Soueidan, Trevor Sasso, Desiree Edwards, Provident Bank official Michael Rivera, Cooke Principal Sandra Johnson-Fields, fifth-graders Caitlynn Carrera, Juan Ortiz and Yo’Lasia Powell. The group of students went through hands-on training to learn the duties of their new banking jobs.

Provident Bank Client Service Associate Michael Rivera works with Chase Elementary student bankers, from left, customer service representative Gabriel Jones and bank tellers, Devin Lawrence and Lauren Salerno.