BUCKHANNON – On Wednesday, fifth-grade students from Rock Cave Elementary School traveled to Buckhannon-Upshur High School to meet with students in Christy Dean’s Personal Finance Class – then both groups traveled to Citizens Bank of West Virginia to learn the ins and outs of banking, the importance of saving money and careers in banking.
But this story really started a long time before Wednesday’s trip. Dean said she read a book to her Personal Finance class called “Lawn Boy” by Gary Paulsen and said Hannah Lively, fifth-grade teacher at Rock Cave Elementary School read her students the same book. The book begins with, ‘One day I was 12-years-old and broke.’
Dean said an actual ‘lawn boy’ came to her class and spoke to them.
“Eli Campbell started his own lawn boy business when he was 14-years-old,” Dean said. “He talked to both set of students and explained how he started his business and worked. He explained what he used his money for, and everyone got to see the growth of his lawn business.”
Dean said Campbell explained more about education, making money work for you and rolling it back over into a business. Following Campbell’s talk, the younger students completed a budget activity with the help of the older students – they talked about distinguishing wants and needs, fixed and variable expenses and other aspects of business.
“Personal finance is near and dear to my heart,” Dean said. “We all need to know how to take care of our finances to be able and get the things we need and want when we are older. Putting kids together today I was able to see sides that I didn’t know existed.”
Dean said it is important for students to learn things they can take with them when they go out into the ‘real world.’
“Personal finance is now going to be a required class for seniors,” Dean shared. “I just love the class, and this is the fourth year I have taught it.”
Gina Ball, Branch Manager of CNB in Buckhannon, said CNB was happy to have the kids by to learn more about banking.
“I think it is nice to get the kids involved and let them see some of the careers that are out there and available,” Ball said. “A lot of people do not understand what happens behind the scenes in banking — they might see the teller when they walk into the bank – but they do not understand what happens after that. We show them what happens to their check and what will happen with their deposits and checks they cash. It’s just an opportunity to get involved with our kids and students.”
While at CNB, B-UHS students learned about careers available in the banking industry including what bank tellers do.
The Rock Cave Elementary students played games and received piggy banks from CNB so they could begin saving.