They say you are never too young to start saving for retirement…even if you only recently learned how to tie your shoes. On July 10th, approximately 40 students from Jo’s Daycare Academy, Inc., visited Seaway Bank and Trust Company, located at 2012 W. Fond du Lac Avenue in Milwaukee, for an early morning lesson on the principles of money and saving.
The students, ranging in age from 6-12 years old, visited the bank for a tour as part of Seaway Bank’s money challenge game designed to teach kids about needs versus wants.
The game entitled, “Your Money, Your Choice,” began with a mock classroom set up in the bank lobby, where the kids were given their first lesson in “Finance 101.” Each child received a bag of play coins totaling $10 as well as instructions on how to play the money challenge game. The students’ lesson began with an explanation of the four things a person can do with money—Save, Invest, Donate and Spend. The real lesson though began when the kids left the classroom seats and had a chance to apply their new found financial knowledge to various “real life” scenarios located throughout the bank tour.
The kids’ first stop on the tour was the bank teller’s window, where they were given the opportunity to pay themselves first and “save.” Next stop, the students made their way to an area of the bank where they learned about charity, giving back and helping others.
“When I was growing up, we didn’t have these types of opportunities so this is great that we are able to give these young people a chance to learn about the principles of money early in life,” said Tracy Meeks, Seaway’s Senior Vice President and North Division Manager. “It’s great to work and make a dollar, but it’s even more important to learn about investing and saving as much as possible,” he added.
The bank tour also included stops throughout various departments within the bank such as loans, accounting, operations and IT. Individual staffers from Seaway Bank answered questions and talked with the kids about their respective departments and how each area contributes to the overall function of the bank. The students even got a chance to see the bank’s vault and sat at the conference table in the boardroom. While in the boardroom, the students received a brief history lesson about Seaway Bank, its founders and the importance of investing resources within your community.
The student bank tour was coordinated by Steven Wyman, vice president Commercial Lending at Seaway. A few months ago, Wyman was approached by a business customer, Jo’s Daycare Academy, Inc., about the idea of a student field trip to the bank. “My main purpose for requesting the field trip from Mr. Wyman was exposure for the kids,” stated Schnell Price, owner of Jo’s Daycare Academy.
“One event or exposure can change a child’s future and what he or she believes is possible to achieve,” she added. Prior to bringing the field trip to fruition, the bank decided to work on creating a memorable experience for the kids while also teaching them about money. The rest, as they say, is history. “This was a great opportunity for Seaway Bank to help not only our customer and the community but to also help kids become educated about banking and using their money wisely,” stated Wyman.
What tour would be complete without a little lunch? At the end of the tour, all the kids gathered back in the bank lobby where they were all treated to the one food that’s as valuable as money itself to a kid— pizza. The pizza party was supplied and delivered by another one of the bank’s business customers, NYPD Pizza. Judging from all the smiles on the student’s faces, ending their money lesson with a pizza party was definitely a good financial choice.
For more information about Seaway Bank and Trust Company, call 414- 343-6900 or visit www.seawaybank.us. Seaway Bank and Trust Company is an Equal Housing Lender, an Equal Opportunity Employer and a member of the FDIC.