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FirstBank Connects With Students on St. Thomas and St. Croix

April 25, 2005 – On Tuesday FirstBank VI staff will be visiting one school on St. Thomas and hosting students at a St. Croix branch to talk to students about the value of learning to save. The effort is part of National Teach Children to Save Day, a day designated by the American Bankers Association to provide an opportunity for bankers to spread the message of saving to children.
According to a press release from FirstBank, bankers across the United States will be engaged in this endeavor to bridge the financial education gap for children who may not be receiving basic financial instruction. According to a survey conducted by Northwestern Mutual, fifty percent of parents who responded said that they find it difficult to teach their children proper money skills. That is where the bank comes in.
"Once children are encouraged to save, an opportunity is created to impact the entire family to make better decisions about handling money and building wealth," says Karen Sprauve, FirstBank community reinvestment officer. "Bankers are able to discuss the benefits of saving in a bank and can provide a savings tool to make the information practical. When parents see their children enthusiastic about saving, they too can become motivated to save."
Besides its participation in National Teach Children to Save Day, FirstBank has also partnered with the territory's public schools in offering the Students First at FirstBank program. The Students First program is designed to provide instructional and practical tools on the importance of saving to school-age children. A total of 14 public elementary schools have been participants in the Students First program since its inception in December 2003.
The schools that are collaborating with FirstBank for Teach Children to Save Day are Uller Muller Elementary School on St. Thomas and St. Mary's School on St. Croix.
Adam Kloper, sixth grade teacher at Uller Muller Elementary, said, "We are very lucky that our ninth annual Math Expose' landed on National Teach Children to Save Day. Our children need to learn the importance of saving money and how to do so. I think it's exciting that FirstBank generously volunteered to help us out. Our children will benefit greatly."

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