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30 Years of Helping Kids Save

30 Years of Helping Kids Save

For over 30 years, Sturgis Bank has helped hundreds of young people improve their financial literacy, learn how to manage their own money, and enjoy the rewards of saving.

In a recent study,* 41% of parents said they don’t like to talk with their children about money, expressing embarrassment about bringing up the topic. And while it’s true that money management can be a complex topic to discuss, financial fluency is an essential skill for everyone. Teaching kids how to earn, save, and manage their money while they’re young shows them that their money will grow right along with them.

Sturgis Bank, aligned with our focus on growing our communities, launched the School Savings Program in 1991. It is currently offered in six communities, through twelve different public and private elementary schools and one junior/senior high school. A “graduated” savings program for teenaged students was launched last year.

A representative from Sturgis Bank visits the participating schools weekly on a designated Banking Day to accept deposits from students with savings accounts. When students make a deposit, they receive a small prize as an added incentive to keep saving. The Bank volunteer accepts deposits from school savers and then deposits the funds into the student’s account for them at the bank.

Heather Myers, Sturgis Bank & Trust Corporate Secretary, has been a passionate advocate for the program. She said, “I love being known as the ‘bank lady’ at the schools. I have heard kids are often scared of banks, so connecting with the kids at their school is impactful. They become familiar with banks in a comfortable setting. Teaching kids to save money not only develops life-long skills but gains their trust that a bank will keep their money safe. My favorite part of the program is channeling the energy from the kids into excitement to save and grow their bank account.”

Each school celebrates the kids who have participated in the program at the end of the school year. Some rent a limousine for a special experience, some have a party, and making it fun to save is always part of the event.

The South Haven Banking Center took the opportunity of the winter holiday break to hold a Kids Savings Day. Ten children came to the branch with their parents that day, and either opened an account that day or in the following days.

Whether at a special one-day event or through the school-year programs, the Bank is proud to help grow our next generation of responsible savers.


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