Kids Bank at Hillside Elementary
First National Bank is proud to celebrate a 30-year partnership with Hillside Elementary in West Des Moines. Our partnership began in 1988, with Clegg Park Elementary School when Jim Mayse was Principal. When Mr. Mayse retired, Dr. Robert Davis assumed the role of principal at both Clegg Park Elementary School and Rex Mathes School, which were combined when Hillside Elementary opened in August of 2004. Dr. Graham Jones is now the principal at Hillside Elementary.
All three principals believed strongly in the Kids Bank program that was developed as a result of our Business Partnership. The goal of Kids Bank is to give students the opportunity to learn the value of saving and encourage financial literacy. Currently, Kids Bank is held at Hillside Elementary School every Wednesday during the school year. Prior to our Grand Opening each year, students in 4th through 6th grades are offered the opportunity to apply for a position with Kids Bank as either a Board Member, a Teller or a Marketing Committee Member. The Board Members’ responsibilities include taking attendance, posting yard signs, maintaining supplies and opening new accounts for students. The Tellers duties are to run a bank teller station where they accept deposits, assist with facilitating withdrawals, provide receipts and reconcile their cash drawer. The Marketing Committee is responsible for making announcements, creating marketing pieces to display in the school, and overall Kids Bank promotion to the students.
Each student interested in a position must complete and submit an application and be interviewed by Hillside teachers, Bank staff and other School District representatives. Upon completion of the interviews, the applications and interview questions are reviewed and selections are made. Once the selections are made, the students are provided with their role and receive training. The Kids Bank Grand Opening announcement and account applications are sent home with all Hillside students, inviting them to open an account and begin making deposits each week. Students are offered incentives for deposits and awards for Best Saver at the end of each school year based on the number of deposits made. The goal is to encourage recurring saving rather than the amount being saved.
Each week, Bank representatives are on hand to assist the students and complete transactions. K-6 students may open accounts and make deposits, given some limitations, and all withdrawals must be accompanied by a parent’s authorization.
Our Business Partnership is one that has evolved over time, and we value our relationship today as much as the day of inception. First National Bank also provides financial support for the annual Jogging in the Junction event to raise funds for the school Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), which provides financial support to teachers and students for classroom materials and educational field trips. The Bank also provides help for a few Hillside Families, identified by the school, to ensure they have a nice meal on Thanksgiving. Staff from the Bank read to students during the annual Dr. Seuss week, and visit with parents about Kids Bank during their Ice Cream Social, conferences and other events. Kids Bank Students are also invited to attend the annual Jingle in the Junction event held at our Valley Junction office, to help hand out cookies and candy canes to families that visit the office and have a picture taken with Rudolph. At the close of the school year, we celebrate by hosting an annual breakfast with staff from Hillside that participate on the committee, First National Bank staff and all students that held positions with Kids Bank.
Kids Bank would not be successful if it wasn’t for the commitment from the school staff, including longtime partner Sheila Hirsch. Ms. Hirsch joined the team alongside Dr. Davis and has been instrumental in assisting with the continued success of our Partnership. Hirsch commented, “Hillside is fortunate to have First National Bank as its business-education partner. The weekly Kids Bank they help us offer our K-6 students is a great way to teach young people money management skills and start students on their way to financial success. Their dedicated and generous support of our students, families, staff, and school activities demonstrates an on-going commitment to our entire Hillside community. The generosity of our business-education partner never ceases to amaze me. We look forward to continuing and strengthening our relationship with First National Bank in the years to come.”