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Banking on success

ESM and CORE FCU team up to educate students, community about financial literacy

Jacob Keuler, right, makes a deposit during Banking Day at Minoa Elementary School in2009. High school business students get hands on experience running the program with the CORE Federal Credit Union and serving as mentors to younger students. Earlier this month, ESM High School’s student-run credit union, the Spartan Branch, collected its millionth dollar deposited by students.

Jacob Keuler, right, makes a deposit during Banking Day at Minoa Elementary School in2009. High school business students get hands on experience running the program with the CORE Federal Credit Union and serving as mentors to younger students. Earlier this month, ESM High School’s student-run credit union, the Spartan Branch, collected its millionth dollar deposited by students. Submitted photo

— Some high school students may be waiting around, hoping to inherit a parent’s old car to call their own. Meanwhile, students at East Syracuse Minoa High School are being proactive: several of them already have a detailed plan of how and when they can afford to get their first cars with the money they’ve saved over the years.

That plan is one product of the school district’s partnership with CORE Federal Credit Union. Through ESM High School’s student-run credit union, the Spartan Branch, and a variety of classes and extracurricular activities aimed at educating students and community members about the importance of financial literacy, ESM high school students are not only learning these concepts through real life experiences, they’re going out into the community to share that knowledge with others.

“We’ve done projects that target everyone from elementary school students to adults and we’ve worked hands-on with CORE employees and ESM executives and have been able to establish connections and relationships,” said Erin Green, an ESM senior, a four-year member of the Spartan Branch board of directors and a manager of the credit union. “It’s great seeing the reaction from the community as they actually learn about financial literacy and become smarter about money.”

This month, the Spartan Branch received its millionth dollar deposited by students since its inception in the fall of 2005. To celebrate, all students who made deposits during the last two months of bank at school days were entered into a drawing to win a $2,500 college scholarship, a $250 donation to a charity of their choice and an iPad mini. CORE and ESM held a ceremony on April 14 to celebrate the milestone and Logan Novak, a student at Immaculate Conception school was chosen as the winner.

“This is truly one of the premier partnerships that we have,” said ESM Superintendent Dr. Donna DeSiato. “We call it a ‘partnership for learning,’ because we believe that in education, one of the most important things we can do is to give our students opportunities for real-life application of their knowledge in order to gain feedback.”

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