Madison High School students now have access to an unparalleled financial education pilot program. Developed in partnership with Lake County Educational Federal Credit Union, the initiative couples an in-school student credit union branch with a disciplined, fully-integrated financial literacy program.
The partnership gives students a hands-on opportunity to put invaluable money-management skills into practice in a safe, non-predatory environment. Students will learn to manage a live checking account under the close supervision of the credit union and educators. They will also receive formal education in personal money management and budgeting, as well as participate in one-on-one financial counseling. The students have affectionately named the branch 212 Savings partnered with the Lake County Educational Federal Credit Union.
At the beginning of the program, students sign up for a completely live checking and savings account with the credit union. When they sign up for their accounts, they get a checkbook and a debit card. The credit union seeds the student accounts with $20 that students use for classroom activities such as check writing and shopping. The students also have access to online banking, the credit union app, and mobile deposits.
Every Wednesday, the credit union will send a teller to the school where we have a branch open in the Cyber Cafe. Students and staff can make deposits, withdrawals, ask questions about their accounts, or inquire about credit.
We plan to run a number of savings goals and competitions to encourage the kids to frequently use and engage with their accounts. In the next phase of student involvement, students will run the branch as tellers and marketers. This will give our students first-hand experience with banking and marketing to promote the use of the branch.
We are very excited to offer this experience to our students. We cannot thank the Lake County Educational Federal Credit Union enough for being an active partner in our mission to give our students an excellent financial education and prepare them for the real world.