The students at Grace E. Stewart Elementary School had something to celebrate Wednesday afternoon as the school opened its very own bank, called BANK STEWART, in cooperation with BANK VI, Salina.
“BANK STEWART is designed to teach kids about the value of saving money,” shared BANK VI President and CEO, Tom Wilbur. “Saving money revolves around learning to set goals for a future event, like college or the purchase of a home or car. Or maybe it’s video game system, a bike, or computer.”
DeAnna Ryberg, the principal of the school, has been instrumental in support for the program, along with bank officers, including Valerie Andrews and Chris Baker—who have worked directly with selected fourth graders in training and preparing them to be the officials representing the bank. The fourth graders applied for positions, and are enthusiastic about the endeavor. Last year, BANK VI mentored third grade children at the school, and the idea surfaced from those activities.
Children at the school sign up for the special accounts in the savings program, and they can make deposits every other week. Withdrawals are not allowed at BANK STEWART, but can be made at BANK VI, several blocks away from the school. Incentives for making deposits, along with continued education for the students, is mutually beneficial to everyone involved.
Officials from USD 305 and the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce were on hand for the official ribbon cutting ceremony, along with the children and faculty of the school.