Target 3. Flexible Learning Environments. FWSU will maximize flexible learning environments by redefining the school day, promoting learning experiences that extend beyond the school classroom, and fostering creativity, innovation, and differentiated learning opportunities for all.
Action Step 1 – Provide students with access to content, resources, and methods for learning beyond the school day and beyond the school walls.
Indicators of Success – The school calendar and the definition of the school day changes to become flexible and responsive to the needs of students.
Financial literacy, in part, is the ability to understand how money is earned and saved in the world, and the importance of preparing for one’s future. In addition to these overarching concepts, the ability to understand the mathematics behind our system of planning and saving is essential.
At Fletcher Elementary, roughly 40 preschool through sixth grade students are registered for the Save for Success Program, offered by the Union Bank. Every Friday before school, parent volunteers Aimee Tinker and Karrie Sweet open up the Fletcher “branch” of the bank in the school’s lobby and students drop by with their deposits. According to Tinker, they have received deposits as low as eight cents. The deposits tend to grow after holidays, birthdays and other special occasions. Students also take their passbooks and make transactions at actual bank locations. Students are encouraged to count out their own deposits and they often help each other check their math. The actual amount of each deposit becomes secondary to learning the principles of saving. Students may have a savings or certificate of deposit account and Union Bank deposits the first dollar for every child.
In addition to weekly banking, students in fifth and sixth grade participated in a presentation that coincided with their weekly classroom theme of perseverance. Tinker worked with students to understand how, by saving a little at a time, their funds would grow, Students calculated how much money they would have if they saved one dollar per week for the year, and how much they could save if they did the same between preschool and sixth grade. Many students were very surprised! The concept of saving is also reinforced through the small incentives students earn each time they make a deposit. They may take a small incentive each time or accumulate their number of deposits for a larger incentive.
In addition to encouraging students to save and teaching the fundamentals of finance, students are able to monitor their financial success through monthly account statements that are mailed to their homes. At home with parental supervision, students also have electronic access to their accounts.
“We at Union Bank believe that educating young people about their finances today will create better informed adults, more capable of making intelligent investment decisions tomorrow,” Union Bank President and CEO David Silverman said in a letter to parents. The Save for Success program received the 1997 Outstanding Contributions to Consumer Education Award from the American Bankers Association Education Foundation.
Fifth Grader Richard B said, “I’ve learned that you have to save your money if you really want something.”
“The banking program is good for kids because it can help you be responsible later on and to remember to keep your money safe and make good decisions so that you don’t waste it,” third grader Malayna S said.
Read tips for parents on financial literacy here.