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A Banker in Every Classroom

By Annie Gilbertson | Published 14 Nov 2011 10:23am | comments
Madison Station Elementary second graders get a lesson in comparison shopping on a budget.

Are Americans bad with money? Between the national debt, the recession and title of poorest state in the nation, many Mississippians have seen enough to believe financial literacy ought to be a part of the K12 education.  And for 350 classrooms last week it was.  MPB's Southern Education Desk reporter, Annie Gilbertson reports Gov. Haley Barbour proclaimed it  "A Banker in Every Classroom Week."

Hoeniges: "I know all of y’all have gone shopping.  Right?"

Students: "Yeah."

Hoeniges: "And you need something to go shopping and that’s money."

Students: "Yeah."

Andrew Hoeniges is a Securities Analyst at Trustmark Bank, but today he's teaching a class of second graders at Madison Station Elementary about basic personal finance.

Hoeniges: "If you want to go basics, you got to figure out what are the things you absolutely need and what are your wants.  And then you got to decide at that point if you can afford them.  If you can’t afford your basic needs than you definitely shouldn’t be going after your wants."

Sounds simple enough. But many experts say we don't have a financially literate population. There's even a special advisory council for the President weighing in on how personal finance could become a core subject in schools.  The committee discussed the possiblity of educators teaming-up with financial services industry to come up with lesson plans.

But the Mississippi Bankers Association has already stepped up to the plate. Mac Deaver, president of the association, said finding local bankers to volunteer at local schools was easy.

Deaver: “Their success is tied to the success of the community.  So it’s a natural.”

When banker Andrew Hoeniges met with those second graders, he tried to make his lesson as close to real life as possible. Students compared doughnuts, thought critically about the costs and benefits of the sprinkle versus glazed variety, and counted out play money to make sure they had enough to pay for the treat.

Student Conner Gee said he took away more than a chocolate doughnut with rainbow sprinkles.

Gee: "It’s very important to have money and you should use it wisely.  If you don’t use it wisely you’ll lose all of it and you won’t have it anymore." 

Simple truths…out of the mouth of babes.

From the Southern Education Desk, for MPB News, I'm Annie Gilbertson.

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Madison Station Elementary second graders get a lesson in comparison shopping on a budget.


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