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Student-run credit unions help Traverse City students save $50,000

Traverse City Area Public School’s Partner In Education, TBA Credit Union, has developed a program that puts students in the teller’s seat. Started in 2010, the Student-Run Credit Union program is designed to give 5th grade student volunteers the opportunity to process deposits at their own school mini branches.
Student volunteers apply, interview and train for positions including branch manager, teller, bookkeeper, computer operator and marketing representative. Once trained, students operate their branch under the guidance of TBACU staff members and process transactions for fellow students.

The program also reinforces classroom lessons about financial literacy and allows students to apply those lessons in a real-world setting.
The effort has paid off. Students have saved $50,000 in the five years since the program started. By depositing everything from pocket change to allowances, students create personal bank accounts and learn to manage their savings.
“We couldn’t be more impressed with the example these students set, both as savers and volunteers,” said Cindy Lardie, Marketing and Education Coordinator for TBA Credit Union. “When you consider that most deposits are handfuls of spare change, it really shows that it is about being consistent with saving, no matter the amount.”
Traverse City Area Public School’s Partner In Education program works to connect community members, businesses and organizations to local schools and programs through sponsorships, financial contributions, in-kind donations and give-back programs. It is a school-community partnership that allows the community to form a genuine relationship with TCAPS schools, programs, teams and clubs by sharing their time, talents and treasures.

A video about the TBACU student-run credit union is available here
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