WSBT-TV—LaPorte High School is taking a new approach to teach kids how to be financially responsible. There is a bank branch now open inside the high school. It is just for students and faculty but the purpose is to teach kids about financial responsibility early -- with parent and school supervision.
Jasmine King is LaPorte Savings Bank's newest teller. It is her first job, and the best part, she doesn't have to leave school to do it. King works at the Slicer Branch which is inside LaPorte High School.
"It was a good experience for me because I am considering going in to banking or the business field after high school," says King, "So I thought it was a good opportunity for me."
The real opportunity though, according to school leaders, is the financial education they hope the bank offers to its customers -- teenagers.
"We just felt it was a great opportunity for kids to learn financial management skills before they went off to college or went into the world of work," says Superintendent Dr. Glade Montgomery.
The high school students can open bank accounts at the brach, they can deposit and withdraw money, and get change. It is all with parental supervision. If they overdraw, they are not charged. Instead, a letter is sent home. If they do it again they have to come in and meet with the bank manager.
"It was just a way to build financial literacy in young people early on," says Michele Thompson, LaPorte Savings Bank President, "we find so many people have trouble later on in life balancing their checkbook, budgeting all those life skills and to get them early on is really critical."
School leaders say there are curriculum requirements that middle schools and high schools teach financial literacy -- this is just one way LaPorte is doing it.
Taxpayer dollars did not go to this change -- the LaPorte Savings Bank paid for everything.