School, bank team to help pupils learn the value of their money


November 28, 1996|By Christy Kruhm | Christy Kruhm,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

THE LINES were long yesterday morning, as Sandy Spring National Bank opened for business at Mount Airy Elementary School.

The first day of the school bank branch brought scores of students eager to become young customers. The elementary students parted with their allowances and birthday money, to be deposited in their interest-bearing savings accounts.

Student tellers accepted the deposits. They were assisted in recording transactions by parent volunteers and bank representatives, Laura Johnson and Annie Thommen.

Mount Airy Elementary's student bank is the most recent addition by Sandy Spring National Bank. The program has been very successful since it began six years ago. The bank has eight school locations.

The elementary school branch is in partnership with Sandy Spring's Lisbon office.

Recognizing the potential for broadening student skills and overall learning, and grooming students to save more as adults, the elementary school's PTA contacted Sandy Spring National Bank about starting the student bank.

"Most children do not have a bank account," said Johnson. "They're not aware of earning interest or the security and safety of protecting their savings at a bank."

Fifth-graders applied for teller jobs by filling out an "employment" application. Erin Yokay, Karyn Farrar, Allison Radoci, Jon Cody, Eric Fitzgerald, Kari Mabry, Chris Hynes, Sandy Signorino, Ben Dorsey, Theresa Pickett, Sarah Vespignani and Jason Knight received training counting money, making receipts and recording deposits.

The bank is open one morning a week, and students in grades three through five may deposit up to $5 as often as they wish. Students are allowed to make withdrawals only at a "real" branch, and only with the signature of the account's custodian.

The PTA coordinator for the program is Debbie Richards. Parent volunteers are Vicki Stroup, Mary Uzzo, Mary Dickson, Shawn Franklin, Jill Maynes and Amy Lederer.

Geography awareness

A walk down the third-grade hallway at Winfield Elementary School last week was anything but typical. Giant butterflies, bats, rock formations, skyscrapers and fire hydrants were only a few of the varied obstacles that had to be navigated.

The transformation of the school hallway was in honor of National Geography Awareness Week, Nov. 17-23. This year the focus was biodiversified habitats.

Led by third-grade teachers Denise Johnson, Cindi King, Pam Kempa and Ann Ogle, the students researched and designed life-size habitats.

Students in King's class created an urban habitat, complete with box skyscrapers, cardboard stoplights, street signs and realistic murals.

The rain forest came alive, as Johnson's class made glittery butterflies look as though they were flying through a jungle, thick with construction paper leaves and vines.

Dark and creepy, black paper covered the walls and ceiling of the cave habitat. The students in Kempa's class designed rock formations, bats and a hibernating bear to scare those who dared to enter.

Giraffes and lions hid among the tall grasses of the grassland habitat. This habitat was designed by Ogle's class and even featured sound effects.

"The kids were so proud," said team leader Johnson. "They learn so much from doing."

Classic Christmas play

Mount Airy Players will present an adaptation of Charles Dickens' classic, "A Christmas Carol: Scrooge and Marley," Dec. 6-7 and Dec. 13-14.

The local community theater will perform at Twin Ridge Elementary School, 1106 Leafy Hollow Circle.

Five shows are scheduled, each offering something different. Theater-goers may choose from attending the show only, or combining a dinner of pizza or chicken and the show.

A matinee on Dec. 8 will benefit local resident Derek Taylor, who is recovering from a serious accident.

Information: 829-1527 or (410) 795-0552 for show times and ticket prices.

Pub Date: 11/28/96

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