Investing in financial literacy early at Kooser Elementary

Kooser Elementary School joined 10 other Lincoln Public Schools investing in student financial literacy by opening a school “bank branch” on Oct. 25. 

As part of the In-School Savings Program across Nebraska, Kooser staff worked with the Nebraska Council on Economic Education and Cattle Bank & Trust to launch the project. The school “bank branch” will be operated by fourth and fifth-grade students who serve as tellers taking savings deposits.

“I like being a teller because it gives me a chance to help classmates,” fourth-grade student  Paul said. 

“It is really fun to work with my friends to help other people save their money,” fifth-grade student Teresa added.

The student branch at Kooser Elementary is designed to introduce the economic concept of saving early, and reinforce the idea throughout the elementary curriculum. It also demonstrates that saving should be part of a student’s personal finance plan for their future while also providing the opportunity to discover careers in the area of banking and finance.

Kodiaks who have permission from their parents will bring their change once a week during a designated time to make a deposit. Initial matching deposits up to $5.00 will be made to help get students started with their accounts. Students who make regular deposits get incentives like coin pouches and school gear. The money will stay in a savings account until the student leaves Kooser. At that time, they will get a cashier’s check with all the funds they have saved. 

“Getting students into the habit of saving early by participating in an in-school savings program is correlated to future beneficial financial behaviors,” said Jennifer Davidson, president of the Nebraska Council on Economic Education.

The bank allows student tellers to explore future careers and develop as leaders. Student tellers applied and interviewed to work at the student branch. Those selected were then trained by Cattle Bank staff. They will be supervised by a Cattle Bank teller.

“I wanted to learn about all the other jobs before I pick one, and to learn how to be a better leader, “ Teresa said. 

“At our school, we really look at educating, embracing and empowering lifelong learners,” Kooser Principal Kellie Joy said.

Other LPS schools also participating in the program include Arnold, Belmont, Cavett, Clinton, Elliott, Hartley, Huntington, Lakeview, Wysong and Roper elementary schools. 

Look at some highlights from the Kooser Branch opening day below.

Published: October 26, 2022, Updated: October 26, 2022

Kooser students helping their peers make bank deposits at their school's new "bank."