First National Bank

First National Bank Vice President Chris Egland addresses a Hoehne class.

This year, Hoehne High School students have a chance to practice money management in the classroom, where mistakes won’t cost real dollars. The First National Bank in Trinidad is sponsoring this program, aptly named How To Do Your Banking. The curriculum supplement allows students to practice checking account management, develop savings strategies, and create personal budgets.

This program is offered as a public service by The First National Bank in Trinidad to all area high schools. “We found surveys indicated only 1 in 3 teens know how to read a bank statement, balance a checkbook or pay bills, and that financial education is among the top three subjects parents want taught to their children,” says First National Bank Vice President Chris Egland. “We feel it is important that young adults have a chance to practice money management in the classroom, where mistakes won’t cost real dollars.” As Ben S. Bernanke once said, “The financial preparedness of our youth is essential to their well-being and of vital importance to our economic future.”

The material covers the gamut of practical and applied financial education. Students learn the importance of saving, even small amounts, regularly by budgeting as a means of achieving financial goals. How to navigate electronic banking, including ATMs, debit/check cards, chip-enabled cards, online banking, online bill paying, mobile banking, and mobile text banking correctly and safely are also covered in the curriculum. Learning how to keep checking transactions in balance, including reconciling an account with a bank statement, are part of the program. Students also learn how to obtain and use credit responsibly, and how to avoid Identity Theft.

Educational officials throughout the country agree on both the need for and the success of the program. Business Education teacher Michael Rood at Hoehne High School said, “I believe this program is one of the best examples I know of in which the business community helps our schools. It helps to empower our students to understand how to use money as a tool and helps them to move up the socioeconomic ladder”

“By sponsoring this program we are reaching our young people as they are entering the work force and first needing financial service. If we can raise their level of financial responsibility and help them learn good money habits right from the start, it will pay big dividends for them and the community alike,” says President Daryl Aubuchon of The First National Bank in Trinidad.

The elementary school financial education program, Saving with Mandy and Randy, is also being used in local schools, as an addition to their core curriculum to help address students’ financial literacy competency in mathematics, economics, civics and language arts. Egland expressed the Bank’s concern that the financial training young people receive has not kept pace with the rate they receive and spend money. “Providing Saving with Mandy and Randy is our way to encourage good savings habits early and help young people achieve future financial success.”

If you are a teacher in Huerfano, Las Animas or Colfax County and would like to take advantage of one of these programs, contact Chris Egland at The First National Bank in Trinidad at 719-859-3670. The program is free to schools and includes a teacher’s guide and a workbook for each student in the class.

Hoehne students get chance to practice money management

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