“Money, get away.
Get a good job with good pay and you’re okay.
Money, it’s a gas.
Grab that cash with both hands and make a stash.”
–Pink Floyd, “Money”
MARYSVILLE – Ever wonder how high school students can graduate without knowing how to return change without a computer?
Washington is among 33 states that do not require high schoolers to take a course in personal finance. Surveys show that students chose money management as a high school-level course that would benefit their lives the most. In an effort to curb that, more than 200 Wells Fargo bankers taught money saving lessons to over 2,500 grade school students statewide Tuesday.
Rachel English and Reynaldo Gomez, who work in Marysville, along with Karla Marroquin in Edmonds, taught the lessons to Nick Bild’s second-grade class at Quil Ceda Elementary. Thirty bankers were in 11 classrooms there on Teach Children to Save Day. They did it as part of the Junior Achievement Program that connects community members with schools. Wells Fargo’s free Hands on Banking program teaches individuals in all stages of life about the basics of responsible money management, including how to create a budget, save, spend wisely and more.
Bild said he was glad to have the bankers there. “We probably do not do that as much as we should,” he said of teaching personal finance. Bild said it is also a good learning experience for the bankers to “learn how to work with kids.”
Gomez and English said “everybody wanted to do it” but they were selected because they hadn’t done it before. Marroquin, who had done it twice, said they can teach the lessons all the way through high school if asked. “The more we talk with children – of all ages – about money, the cost of things, the importance of having a budget and saving, the more we help set them on a path towards financial capability,” said Steve Hatfield, regional bank president.