Written on: March 4th, 2010 in Education
Earlier this week, I met a group of students from Appoquinimink High School in Middletown. When I walked in, they greeted me professionally and confidently. They looked me in the eye and shook my hand. It was a genuine pleasure.
These students were helping to launch a new Bank In School program, which is a partnership between the school district and Wilmington Trust. Right in the middle of the school, there’s a functioning bank. Some students will learn how to manage a bank, while even more students will learn how to manage their own finances responsibly.
This program builds on the Delaware Bank At School program, which was founded in 1992 through the efforts of Dr. Bonnie Meszaros of the Delaware Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship and Ronni Cohen, a teacher at Burnett Elementary School in Wilmington. I believe in this program, so as Treasurer, I worked to help it grow.
Why are programs like Bank In School important for Delaware?
Keeping Our Students Engaged: Dr. Tony Marchio, Superintendent of the Appoquinimink School District, highlighted the challenge that schools across the nation face. Students need to see the connection between what they’re learning and their future in the “real world.” We must do this to keep our youth engaged. This partnership and other creative programs, such as Junior Achievement’s Innovation Hub, illustrate direct links between education, careers and long-term success.
Growing Our Economy & Keeping Our Finances Healthy: In the current economic environment, we all know how challenging financial management can be for individuals, companies and governments. A study from the University of Arizona found that “nearly 73% of the more than 2,000 students surveyed have resorted to at least one ‘risky’ financial behavior.”
Learning the skills necessary to manage money responsibly is critical to our students on a personal level: these skills will enable our youth to invest in their own future, as well as the future of their families.
But these skills are also fundamentally important to our students on a professional level. Sound, responsible money management is essential whether our young people work at one of Delaware’s fine companies, serve in our government, strive to help people at a nonprofit organization, or drive innovation as an entrepreneur. These skills will enable our youth to compete in a global workplace and create quality jobs for Delawareans.
We need to teach our youth know how to manage money responsibly for themselves and our communities to ensure that Delaware remains the best place to start and grow a business.