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Amalgamated Bank Mural
volume 7 ••• Winter 2010

Students on Fast Track to Make Saving Money a Habit

Roosevelt Island Ribbon Cutting
Students from the Bronx Writing Academy began learning about the basics of banking in a workshop taught by East Burnside Avenue Branch Manager Omar Perez (kneeling at right).

Saving money is becoming a new trend among students at The Bronx Writing Academy, one of New York City’s middle schools. Last spring, the Academy’s sixth and seventh graders joined Amalgamated Bank’s Tween Green Savings program. And they quickly got excited about putting money in their own bank accounts.

The original group of students has begun their second year as savers. In January 2010, a new group of sixth graders at the school will enroll in Amalgamated’s program. Tween Green Savings was started to show students the value of making consistent deposits in their bank accounts. They are also learning how to make smarter choices about their money.

Students from the Writing Academy were the first group to enroll in the Bank’s Tween Green Savings program. After receiving their parents’ permission to open savings accounts, a group of energetic youngsters visited Amalgamated Bank’s branch on East Burnside Avenue to attend a financial education class. Students eagerly engaged in the class discussions as they talked about how they use their money now. During the sessions, Amalgamated’s branch staff and the teachers gradually introduce new concepts about saving money by using games, puzzles and riddles.

Amalgamated created the class to teach students about the value of saving money. During the session at the local branch, each student was given a red piggy bank and a Tween Green Savings kit that comes with a savings passbook and a calendar that shows when the parent coordinator will collect the deposits. Students also received a $5.00 Super Saver Coupon from Amalgamated that they used to open their savings account as well as deposit slips and envelopes for deposits. They can deposit as little as 50 cents or more every two weeks.

“Students were very excited about saving money,” said Amalgamated Bank’s Vice President and Burnside Avenue Branch Manager Omar Perez. “We also explained that building good money management habits occurs slowly over time and these boys and girls have an advantage because they are starting early.”

The principal, teachers, and parent coordinator at The Writing Academy are strong advocates of the Tween Green Savings program. To show support, the Academy has placed Amalgamated’s program posters all around the school. The posters remind students about the banking day that occurs every two weeks.

Also, Amalgamated’s branch staff is working with teachers to provide fun Tween Green Savings lessons to students who are still thinking about joining the Bank’s savings program.

“We are delighted that so many students have enrolled in the Tween Green Savings program and they are making consistent deposits in their accounts,” said Amalgamated Bank Vice President Lona Gill, who developed and launched the effort. “Our plan is to expand this pilot program to more schools and students in communities where we have branches.”