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Students say bank in school is a good investment

November 15, 2009|By JENNIFER FITCH

CHAMBERSBURG, PA.-- Looking for real-world experience, Chambersburg Area Senior High School accounting students are trying to open a bank branch next to their cafeteria.

Caleb Filson, a junior, and Jamie Goetz, a senior, talked to the Chambersburg Area School Board last week about the plan developed by their Accounting II and III class. They shared statistics about teenagers' attitudes toward finances and knowledge about savings.

A "request for proposals" will seek financial institutions that want to open in the high school.

Superintendent Joseph Padasak said he believes a local bank will be interested and said several have curriculums for youths.

Caleb said the plan is to start the branch with one or two full-time bank employees. Those employees would train teenagers for jobs through the cooperative program for students who work and attend school. The youths would be supervised by a full-time bank employee.

"It'd fit in with their schedule for the co-op program," Jamie said.

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According to Caleb and Jamie, 26 schools in Pennsylvania have banks. Their class of approximately 20 students surveyed 407 Chambersburg teenagers.

"Seventy-one percent of students found it to be useful," said Jamie, who visited Hempfield High School in Lancaster, Pa., to learn about its bank.

The pair told the school board they believe an on-campus bank would provide for greater financial knowledge, better savings skills, and stronger career objectives. They also suggested math scores could increase.

"The more they know, the less debt there will be in our community," Caleb said.

Board member Fred Rice said learning financial skills at a young age can be helpful because at times even adults with large salaries don't know how to manage money.

Students want the new bank to open at the start of the 2010-11 school year, according to Caleb and Jaime.

"We're planning on two ATMs in the school," Caleb said.

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