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Teaching children to save

Photos by Evan Krape

Teach Children to Save Day reaches thousands of Delaware students

While saving money may sound like an adult goal, saving habits can begin to form as early as elementary school.

Just ask Delaware Gov. John Carney: At a recent event at Georgetown Elementary School, Carney shared some of his earliest saving experiences with students.

“I remember when my mom and dad got me a savings account at the local bank,” said Carney, who described saving his childhood paper route earnings. Carney even remembers the first purchase he made with his savings: high top sneakers.

“When I think about so many of the most important things that you’re going to encounter in your life, they require you to put money away to save so that you can do something bigger and better somewhere in the future,” Carney said.

This was part of a speech that Carney gave before signing a proclamation declaring it Teach Children to Save Day (TCTSD) week in Delaware.

This was the new governor’s first time signing the proclamation in support of TCTSD, which has been ongoing in the state for 19 years with the support of the University of Delaware’s Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship (CEEE) and the Delaware Bankers Association.

CEEE Director Carlos Asarta also spoke to the students about his family’s early saving experiences, which empowered him to move to the United States from Spain to pursue his dreams, and the importance of students starting early themselves.

“Every penny that you save is a penny that you will have in the future, plus interest,” Asarta said, before inviting students to talk about what they were saving for.

Sarah Long, president and CEO of the Delaware Bankers Association, also reminded students of a way to remember this advice: “Every little bit saved makes a little bit more.”

This phrase comes from this year’s TCTSD selected book, The Great Investo and the Million Pennies by Greg Koseluk. During this year’s TCTSD week, 184 volunteers from 23 different banks visited 276 classrooms and reached 6,475 Delaware students with readings of this story and a lesson on the importance of responsible saving habits.

One such volunteer was Randy Taylor, director of private banking for Fulton Bank, who read The Great Investo and the Million Pennies this year with a class of third graders at Brader Elementary School.

Taylor, who has been a TCTSD volunteer for seven years, said, “The students always seem excited to have a guest, and eagerly raise their hands in excitement when I ask for volunteers. As in the past, the students were interested in the book, the story, and the lesson.”

As for what keeps him coming back every year, he said, “I attended Delaware public school K-12, and enjoy visiting our schools, watching young minds at work, and appreciating what our teachers do for our children and our communities.

“It is my hope that a handful of students in each class do in fact put some of their birthday money in a piggy bank, or open up a savings account at a local bank and save for something special in the future.”

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