3 Ohio elementary schools and credit union launch student-run branches

An innovative partnership to teach money-management skills
to students launched this week between a southern Ohio district and a local
credit union.

The Atomic Credit Union
is establishing student-operated credit unions in the three elementary schools
in the Jackson
City School District
. The credit union offers free savings accounts for
children that feature no fees or minimum balance requirements. The credit union
will provide the first $2 deposit for each student who opens an account and
students may then deposit as little as one cent at a time – to ensure that all
students can participate, regardless of their family finances. One day a week
will be designated as “credit union day” in the schools when students can make
transactions, and fifth-grade students will learn real-world job skills working
in the school credit union.

Credit
Union President and CEO Tom Griffiths told the local Telegram
newspaper
,
"For our children to be growing up and experiencing the worst economic
times our country has seen since the Great Depression, I cannot think of a
better ‘educational vehicle’ than that of a student-run financial
institution."

The average household carries more than $10,000 in credit
card debt
and college tuition continues to rise (in fact, Sec. Duncan and
Vice President Biden are talking college affordability in
Columbus today
). People – especially in areas like southern Ohio, where
unemployment rates still top 10 percent – need to learn how to save and manage
money. If this partnership can help achieve that, it would be terrific to see
it expand to other schools in the area.