Bank, Arthur Slade students form a partnership to promote savings Nickels, dimes, pennies finance branch at school


In addition to Readin', 'Riting and 'Rithmetic, students at Arthur Slade Regional Catholic School soon will be learning another "R": running a real bank.

The Glen Burnie school on Dorsey Road has formed a partnership with Glen Burnie Mutual Savings Bank to operate a student-run bank, which is to open next month.

"I think it's going to be a neat idea. The kids are really going to run it," said Suzanne Whitmore, director of development at the school. "They, hopefully, will be learning good banking habits, good saving habits."

Starting next month, kindergartners through third-graders will be able to deposit allowances and birthday and holiday money into interest-bearing savings accounts at a school branch of the bank. Children in grades four through eight will serve as tellers and on the board of directors.

Bank officials will transport money to the offices at 1 S.E. Crain Highway and won't give it back to the youngsters without written permission from their parents.

Children also can do their banking at the main office on Crain Highway.

After the bank at the school becomes established, older children will become depositors, too, said Marrian McCormick, secretary-treasurer and chief executive officer of the Glen Burnie bank and the mother of three Arthur Slade students.

"I'd rather start small and build it up, rather than be overwhelmed," McCormick said.

McCormick broached the idea for the bank with school officials in September.

"I feel it will be really good experience for them to see how a business is run," she said.

Students will learn how to chart the growth and trends of deposits using Lotus spreadsheets, how to reconcile accounts at the end of the day, and how to run board meetings.

"We do see this is as a community outreach program," McCormick said. "What we're trying to do is foster at an early age the importance of saving so that these children will have this ingrained in them so that when they grow up they will continue to save."

Glen Burnie Mutual won't re- quire minimum deposits, she said.

"Pennies, nickels and dimes are fine with me. There will be no transaction fees. That would kind of detract from the whole purpose," she said.

Later this month, Principal Janice McIntosh and the school's teachers will choose a name, slogan and logo for the bank from student entries. The winning student will receive a $25 savings deposit from the bank.

Matthew McGuire, 5, said he thinks the bank is "a good idea."

"We're letting the bank use the money, and the bank will give us money back," said the kindergartner, who plans to open his account with money saved at home in a bank shaped like a hard hat.

"I think it's pretty neat because we can save money and we won't have to worry about losing it," said Ashley Kamauf, 8, a third-grader.

First-grader Nicholas Allen, 6, said the bank is "teaching us how to save up money and stuff."

Maureen Rogers, 8, a fourth-grader, said, "It's a fun way to learn about banking for when it's going to come in handy later in life."

And Laura Merkel, 12, a seventh-grader, said she thinks the bank "will be good experience for getting a job later on."

Pub Date: 12/04/96

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