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Piggy banks and future plans: Three Rivers School kindergartners start saving early with Mini Bank Program

(Update: Adding video, comments from students, First Interstate Bank)

SUNRIVER, Ore .(KTVZ) --  Kindergartners in Sunriver have been learning early how to be financially savvy. Three Rivers School in Sunriver hosted First Interstate Bank's final Mini Bank interactive session on Wednesday.

I asked kindergartner Jayce Echternkamp, 'What do you want to be when you grow up?'

"A doctor," he replied.

I said, "You're planning to save for today. How much did you bring?"

He told me, "$26."

Mini Bank Program coordinator Aaron Schofield said, "It was part of the bank's initiative to really focus on financial education for the kids that were missing in our local schools."

Kindergartners lined up at the Mini Bank to deposit their own money, given to them either for doing chores or by saving birthday money, into their accounts.

The Mini Bank outreach started in Oregon this year, with Three Rivers School being the first stop, for a total of four visits.

First Interstate Vice President and Commercial Relationship Manager Dawn Cofer said, "It's really important that they learn to save from an early age, and they're learning the importance of money and how it works and how stability in their life from an early age."

Some students are already setting money aside for the future. 

I asked kindergartener Mckenzie Petersen, 'Do you have a piggy bank or a bank account at home?'

"I have a bank account and a piggy bank," she replied.

Next I asked: 'Do you know how much money you have saved in your piggy bank?'

She said, "'Cause I got lots of it, I can't even count, 'cause it's like that big!"

Three Rivers School currently has 28 school savers who are earning 4%  interest on their deposits.

The Mini Bank program is going to be expanding into two additional schools for the 2024-2025 school year. Elk Meadow and potentially Bear Creek Elementary will benefit.

During the last Three Rivers Mini Bank session this school year, students were given a piggy bank to use for the summer. 

Cofer said, "We always joke it's better for us to catch them in kindergarten than in, you know, college."

Article Topic Follows: Education

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Kelsey McGee

Kelsey McGee is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Kelsey here.


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