“Thank you for banking with us” is a common phrase that can be heard during the school year at the Spalding Catholic school in Alton. Grades 4 through 6 have the opportunity to participate in the school savings program with the help of the Alton branch of American State Bank. This is a great way to learn awesome life skills that you will need to have in the future, starting from a young age.
Every Wednesday morning from 8:15 – 8:30, the Spalding Bank is open for business. During this time, students can make deposits and withdrawals. The students fill out a deposit slip and hand that in along with their money to a “teller” (another student). The teller updates their savings book, confirms the money, and politely thanks the student for the banking transaction. An ASB employee is there to assist as well as a teacher from Spalding to oversee the program.
Once the teller is done with the transaction, the deposit slip and money are handed over to the student banker, where he/she updates the accounts in a spreadsheet. When the Spalding bank closes, a student volunteers to count the total amount of money and is taught how to balance the actual cash versus what the student banker has on the computer. After the student confirms the balance, the ASB employee takes the money and deposit slips back to the branch. The funds are deposited into an actual interest accruing savings account. To entice the kids and make it fun, the bank keeps track of the deposits, and if they have multiple deposits in a row the child receives a fun prize, candy or coupon.
Towards the end of the school year, the 6th grade class goes on a field trip to American State Bank in Sioux Center. They are provided lunch, get to meet with Stan Speer (President/CLO), and tour the bank asking questions. As the 6th grade class graduates, each student can receive their total funds or roll over the funds to the Jay Bird Savings Bank with American Bank in Le Mars.
Initially, the program was started in 1994 in Granville with school staffer Teresa Goliber and ASB representative Sheryl Fiddelke. At that time, ASB was one of the first banks in Iowa to start a program like this. The banking program allows the kids to use and develop their math and technology skills, as well as learn about the “real-world” of banking. It’s a great opportunity for ASB to again reach out into the community and schools and help the kids develop life skills and relationships.
- Kevin Langel, Market President