Children learn about $$ through NAB Mini BankBy Roselynn Wahtomy, Sho-Ban News
FORT HALL – The Native American Bank’s Mini Bank project was set in place to teach children about money and finances. “Mini Bank gives kids control over their own money,” said Karri Deschine, Mini Bank Coordinator. “The purpose is to teach children the secrets of life early.”
One of the main goals the Mini Bank enforces is teaching kids to prepare for their futures and to invest in their education by putting away money for college. Setting up an account takes as little as three dollars; a form of identification, a parental form and applicant must be old enough to sign an ownership form. The Mini Bank has grown and is offered at Fort Hall Elementary, Sho-Ban Jr./Sr. High School, Lillian Vallely School, and Tyhee Elementary.
Established at each of the schools is a Bank Board of up to five students whose duties focus on developing policies and procedures and serving as bank associates. Members of the Fort Hall Elementary board are Lennox Ponzo, Nova Eagle, Dustin Yazzie, and alternates Jennifer Peabashy and Kaitlin Yellowhorse. During deposit days students get hands on participation by taking part in one of the following tasks: greeting customers, assisting with deposits and filling out receipts, looking up account information, handling and verifying deposits, and one person oversees new account signups.
Students at Fort Hall Elementary have been making depositing with Native American Bank since 2006. Today they have as many as 75 students with opened accounts. Account holder Antonio Lopez made a deposit during Tuesday’s Mini Bank Day and says he’s proud to have a bank account. When asked how he got his money, he responded simply, “I worked for it.”