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Bank graduates class of Young Bankers Club

December 8, 2015
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Fifth Third Bank Young Bankers Club GRPS Congress Elementary
Tim Haberling of Fifth Third Bank, right, teaches students in its Young Bankers Club at Congress Elementary in Grand Rapids. Courtesy Fifth Third Bank

A bank is celebrating 70 elementary-age students for completing a 10-week financial literacy program.

Fifth Third Bank is hosting a graduation ceremony this afternoon for Grand Rapids Public Schools elementary school students who participated in the third class of its Young Bankers Club.

The ceremony will be at 3 p.m. in Kentwood at the Kevin T. Kabat Service Center, at 1850 E. Paris Ave. SE.

Tom Welch, president at Fifth Third Bank, Teresa Weatherall Neal, superintendent at GRPS, and Kevin Sehlmeyer, Grand Rapids deputy fire chief, will be part of the event, with Sehlmeyer delivering the keynote address.

Financial literacy

Fifth Third Bank’s Young Bankers Club is a five- or 10-week financial literacy program meeting national standards for fifth-grade mathematics and is taught inside the classroom by a bank employee or mentor.

The program is intended to educate fifth-grade students about the significance of finances and personal responsibility.

Throughout the program, students learn how to identify currency, make basic money calculations, explore careers and their incomes, the basics of the stock market, create budgets, practice managing a bank account and create a small business plan.

The 70 students from the 2015 Young Bankers Club attend GRPS’ Burton, Congress, Mulick and Stocking elementary schools.

Patrick Lonergan, community and economic development manager at Fifth Third Bank, said the program teaches the students life skills.

“They are learning how to make financial decisions that will have an impact on their entire life,” Lonergan said. “Since there is one Fifth Third banker for every four students in the program, they develop a great relationship, one that may last a lifetime.”

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