From the classroom to the bank

Credit union hopes to teach financially responsibility with in-school branch

— Ruberti said he feels financial responsibility is an important lesson that should begin at a young age.

“There’s a saying that people don’t plan to fail, they fail to plan,” said the principal, who started his career out of college as a financial broker. “With the country’s financial concerns overall, I think what’s missing is money management education.”

The credit union program is just a portion of a larger effort by the district to teach financial literacy in school and spread it to the community beyond.

The district was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from State Farm to locally promote financial literacy. Portions of the money will be used to buy supplies for the branch, while TCT is funding the construction of a branch stand to be placed inside the school’s cafeteria. Students will also be provided with TCT Federal Credit Union shirts and the student council will vote on naming the branch.

“Money management is incredibly important for kids,” said Ruberti. “It shows them the reality of what it really costs to live on your own and could provide them with the incentive to further their education, instead of wishing to move out of their parent’s house as soon as they turn 18. It’s not as rosy as what they might think.”

Each student or staff member who opens an account at the school will have $5 credited toward their account from TCT. Students will work on an offline TCT to help with deposits, withdrawals and balancing. The money will then be taken at the end of the day by the TCT representative to be placed into accounts at the credit union.

The school is hoping to open the branch by March. The credit union is hoping other school districts will want to participate in the program in the future.

“These children are literally our future, so this seems like a good place to start for us,” said LaPointe. “We definitely feel there is great educational value in what we are presenting.”

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