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Jefferson branch focuses on financial literacy for local students

Jefferson branch focuses on financial literacy for local students

Financial literacy is important to Peoples Bank. And every branch puts deep thought and effort into financial literacy programs and education throughout its communities. In Greene County, the Peoples Bank staff in Jefferson has been highly active in local schools.

Last fall, the Jefferson Peoples Bank branch introduced the Giant Piggy Bank program with Greene County schools. Giant Piggy Bank allows students to save money through Peoples Bank and become student bankers themselves, gaining valuable money management and essential job readiness skills.

The program has been a resounding success, particularly in Greene County Elementary School, where Peoples Bank visits every Thursday morning. The school’s fourth graders serve as student bankers, and everyone in the school has the option to open a Giant Piggy Bank account and participate. Twenty-six fourth graders rotate as student bankers, and there are about 60 Greene County students are involved.

“Financial literacy is something that is so important to start young,” said Nikki Uebel, assistant vice president and branch manager in Jefferson. “We emphasize informed decision-making and utilizing resources. Community bankers are great resources and happy to share their expertise.

“It is so important that students are provided skills and resources to help them as they grow and enter the world of how to manage their money and what the impact can be.”

In addition to running the program, the Jefferson branch also speaks to students in individual classrooms about saving and managing money. Staff members have also been in high school classrooms to speak on personal finance, accounts, loans, identity theft, budgeting and career readiness.

“I have been humbled by the amount of positive response,” Uebel said of Peoples Bank’s involvement in local schools. “Obviously, being in this line of work, we think financial literacy is important, but when I have kids come up to me a month after visiting their classroom and talk about how they have successfully saved for a goal, it is just rewarding. The fact that students are going home and even having conversations with their parents about finance is a huge win for us.

“The amount of positive feedback has been the most rewarding part. It continues to ripple into more areas. And to me, that means what we are doing is working.”