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Children's Express Program Teaches Kids to Save for the Future
CE News Team: Ilana Novick, 16; Chad Sitgraves, 12 and Joel Solow, 13

A lot of people think that children spend money as soon as they get it. This may be true for some young people but not for nine-year-old twins Gabriel and Dylan Greene.

For the past three years Gabriel and Dylan have been part of Save for America, a school-based banking program. The Washington-based organization teaches elementary school kids how to put money into savings account and gain interest.

So far, Gabriel and Dylan like the program a lot. Gabriel has $350 in his bank account; Dylan has $340. Every two weeks, each of the boys deposits around $5, or more if he has extra money, into his account on banking day at Setauket Elementary School in Long Island. The Greene’s mom is actually the banking coordinator at their school. About 200 of Gabriel’s and Dylan’s classmates have savings accounts.

Last year, $1 million dollars was saved by almost 90,000 kids in 750 schools. Since the program started 12 years ago, $50 million has been saved.

Gabriel and Dylan said that the program was really easy. “It’s not too hard for me to do,” said Gabriel modestly.

Learning about banking will be very helpful to kids in the future. “It’s important because I need to know to save money so when I grow up I can use it the right way,” Dylan said.

In addition to teaching them the value of money, the program also teaches them to sharpen their math skills. It might lead to quicker addition and multiplication. “I know how to type my [account] number in. I know where to add my numbers in my savings registers. And I know how to add my account,” Gabriel explained.

Overall, Save for America sounds pretty good because it helps children save money. Having a savings account teaches discipline because kids learn to deposit money on a regular basis instead of spending it the second they get it.

However, Dylan did agree that having a savings account might make him think that money was a little too important. But he didn’t know why he thought this.

Besides depositing money, the Greene children also make withdrawals. Gabriel bought a scooter with the money he saved but also hopes to save enough for college.

Dylan has greater goals for his money. “You should save up all the money that you need and you should give some of the money for the kids in America that need more money.”

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