DerryNews.com, Derry, New Hampshire

January 3, 2013

Londonderry first-graders get financial lessons


Derry News

---- — LONDONDERRY – On Dec. 20, Hampshire First Bank Customer Service Representative Rebekah Kersten visited with first-grade classes at Matthew Thornton Elementary School as part of the bank’s Strive financial literacy program.

Kersten spoke with students about money and the importance of saving money early.

The financial literacy presentation was part of a series of lessons on personal finance that the bank hopes to share with all students in the Londonderry school system.

“Financial awareness and education are extremely important in today’s economy,” said Lauren Neves, branch manager, Hampshire First Bank of Londonderry. “We are excited to bring this fun and informative program into local classrooms to help students of all ages learn about money and the importance of saving. It’s never too early to start saving, and the first-graders at Matthew Thornton Elementary were very excited to talk about money.”

“The (Londonderry) School District is committed to teaching children life skills so that they are college- and career-ready by the time they graduate,” said Carol Mack, principal at Matthew Thornton Elementary School. Obviously, the ability to handle finances appropriately is part of that goal.”

Through a unit called “Dollars & Cents Sense,” the first-graders learned the basics about currency and how coins and bills come in different sizes.

They also learned how the number of coins or bills – or even a coin’s size – does not always equate to its value. For instance, four dimes equal 40 cents, not “four.”

Kersten read a poem by Shel Silverstein and the students then identified decisions the protagonist made about money and whether the decisions were good or bad.

Hampshire First Bank’s financial education program, Strive, works with local teachers in the classroom to help today’s youth grow into financially responsible, independent adults.

Through a partnership with the American Bankers Association’s “Teach Children to Save” program, the bank offers comprehensive financial literacy curriculum available to all local school districts and colleges for classroom-based education.