Rowan Elementary School student Gabby Guerrini accepts a deposit from a student Jan. 29 during School Bank Day. The partnership between the school and PNC Bank teaches students about banks and saving money.
CRANBERRY TWP — Students at Rowan Elementary School are getting a real life lesson in saving money and banking thanks to a new program at the school. School Bank Day is a partnership between the school and PNC Bank. The school on Jan. 29 had its second bank day event and anticipates holding one event each month. While most of the participating students could count their age on two hands, the lobby of the school that morning resembled a bank as students filled out deposit slips, handed their money to tellers and analyzed receipts. The only difference was that the customers, tellers and other staff were young children. Lisa Guerrini, a member of the school's parent-teacher association, said students deposited anything from spare change to hundreds of dollars in check form. The event teaches banking skills and procedures to the students at a young age, she said, and it's an experience based in reality. All of the money is real, as are the savings accounts. Guerrini said several dozen students already have begun participating in the event, and she hopes the number will grow as the months go by. “This is a practical learning tool for the kids,” she said. “But it's also fun for them.”
Guerrini stood by and smiled as her daughter Gabby, a fourth grader, worked busily accepting deposit slips as a teller. She explained that the oldest students in the school are allowed to be tellers, and that there are always a bevy of adult volunteers around for questions. The program takes place before the school day, generally around 8 a.m. “I have nothing better to do in the morning anyway,” Gabby said. “And it's kind of fun.” Tammy Jackson, an assistant branch manager at a PNC Bank in Adams Township, said she helped organize the event with PTA officials. It just happened that PNC was looking for new schools to use the program, and that the PTA was looking for something similar to a program it had at the end of the last school year. Jackson said the bank likely will expand the program to other schools that express interest. “It's great because it teaches them life skills,” she said. “Get them started early.” Guerrini said she plans on taking the Bank Days program to Haine Middle School when her daughter attends there next year. But for now both Guerrini and Jackson are working to build the program up at Rowan while hoping more students and their parents decide to participate.
Students at Rowan Elementary School count money and fill out deposit slips during the second School Bank Day on Jan. 29.
JUSTIN GUIDO/CRANBERRY EAGLE