Desert View Academy and Washington Federal have recently joined forces to form a partnership on the school's campus, centered around teaching kids to save.

For the first time this year, the kindergarten through fifth-grade students on DVA’s campus will have an opportunity to participate in the “Save at School” program, which is aimed at helping students learn more about financial literacy.

Faviola Mayorga, assistant manager at the Yuma Catalina Branch of Washington Federal, spearheaded the initiative locally. She said they chose DVA to participate in the program because her son attended school there and she also knew that they would get good participation.

In regards to teaching children about money management at such a young age, she said, “Good habits start young, so if you start them right now, by the time they turn 18 – even in high school – those good habits will always be with them.”

Her five-year-old son Joaquin Lopez, a kindergartener, said that he thinks saving money is important because it allows him to have money for college. He hopes to become a police officer in the future.

The school recently kicked off the new partnership with an assembly. During the presentation students learned about terms like “deposit,” “withdrawal,” and “interest” as they relate to savings. They also learned the difference between wants and needs.

Additionally, students were given packets to take home about an opportunity to open up a new savings account if they bring in $5 to school. As part of the program, Washington Federal will match the student’s contributions with another $5. For the remainder of the school year, bank volunteers will come to the school monthly for “Bank Days” where students can make deposits to their accounts. Parents will also receive quarterly statements by mail and students were presented with register books to keep track of their money.

During the assembly presentation, Desert View Academy principal Deb Weigel reminded the students, “It’s important that you show your parents the note. And also, we never take money from home without asking our moms and dads… ask before you take money, because that’s being responsible.”

Bank staff have plans to start the program at an additional school in Yuma County in the future.

Sarah Womer can be reached at swomer@yumasun.com or 539-6858. Find her on Facebook at Facebook.com/YSSarahWomer or on Twitter at @YSSarahWomer.

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