Banking on KIDS - Testimonials - M&I Bank

The following is an excerpt from M&I & You, an internal publication, dated March, 1999:

"We Save Money, Yes We Do!"

New 'Kids Own Bank' Gives Students Something to Cheer About

In Fall of last year, M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank's Walker's Point office helped a group of young students move a step closer to lifelong financial security. A new "bank" in Vieau Elementary School is helping children learn about saving money and now money can grow when it is deposited in a bank account. An all-school assembly introduced 600 kindergarten through eighth graders to how the bank will work.

The students have the opportunity to make minimum deposits of 25 cents each month. Once their account balance reaches $9.50, M&I will give the child an additional 50 cents. They can then deposit the money into an account at the Walker's Point office of M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank.

Jose Rodriguez, branch manager of M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank's South office and Walker's Point office, urged the children to talk to their parents about saving money and compared to saving money to something most of us relate to. "The more you eat, the fatter you get", said Rodriguez. "The more you save, the 'fatter' your account gets".

The children have taken their advice. The program is so successful, they've already run out of deposit slips. Nina Zealy, a full-time counselor and the coordinator of the bank program at the school, said the children have already deposited over $1,400 and one child saved over $80. As least 50 students have saved enough money to open an account at Walker's Point office of M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank. "We're hoping to give them the incentive, knowledge and responsibility to help them save money for their future," said Zealy. She added that a banking curriculum taught in the classroom will also reinforce what they learn about saving money and the value of a dollar.

As an additional component of the program, the school's tellers, who represent several grades, visited the Walker's Point office of M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank and took a tour to become more acquainted with how a bank works.

The program is endorsed by the Greater Milwaukee Education Trust and underwriting costs are paid by M&I Marshall & Ilsley Bank.

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