|Ed Christianson answers questions from the students.|
In an effort to raise awareness about the importance of saving money, Zions Bank employees traded in their balance sheets for blackboards in honor of Utah's Teach Children to Save Day, declared by Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. as April 25 in an official proclamation.
Huntington Elementary kindergarten students in Helen Piacitelli's class learned to be savvy savers from Zions Banker Ed Christianson. Christianson, branch manager at Zions Bank's Castle Dale and Huntington branches office, was one of more than 100 Zions employees who volunteered to teach 6,000-plus students in Utah and Idaho in honor of the American Banker Association's National Teach Children to Save Day.
Students learned the concepts of interest, budgeting, and discussed "needs" versus "wants." They were also given their own calculators to help them figure their income and expenses.
"It's never too early for kids to learn how to pay themselves first by saving money and earning interest," said Christianson. "I hope to show Huntington Elementary students that learning money skills early in life can help them become adults who make smart financial choices."
In a recent personal finance survey, Utah high school students fared worst in the category of savings. According to results released this month by the Utah Jump$tart Coalition, high school senior participants answered just 45.4 percent of savings-related questions correctly, the lowest of all categories in the survey, but slightly higher than the national average of 42.6 percent. Other topics in the personal finance survey included debt and spending.
"The lessons we teach Utah's students today create good habits for consumers tomorrow," said Zions Bank President and CEO Scott Anderson. "As community bankers, Zions employees have the responsibility to show local students that saving money is a valuable life skill."
National Teach Children to Save Day is an annual nationwide program sponsored by the American Bankers Association Education Foundation.