Leominster Credit Union’s Boys & Girls Club program makes financial sense
By Jack Minch
Sentinel & Enterprise
LEOMINSTER — Saving, spending, sharing and investing are the cornerstones of financial literacy, and Leominster Credit Union is taking its lessons to the Boys & Girls Club of Fitchburg and Leominster to build a strong foundation for young people.
“To make them well-rounded and responsible persons in the community,” said Assistant Vice President Ingrid Adade.
The credit union opened a “savings bank” at the club Tuesday to teac
h students about saving money as part of a financial literacy course. Adade teaches the course with volunteers from the credit union, including Tracey Springer, James Ellis and Debbie Greenfield.
“Fortunately for me, Leominster Credit Union feels this is something that is needed in the community,” Adade said. “My job is to go to the community of all ages to spread the word of financial literacy.”
The credit union has been teaching the program at the club for about three years and has 20 to 25 students this year. The class revolves around a game with six adventures in which students look for a young boy named Stone Broke that Adade created.
They face challenges and obstacles such as caverns learning the principals of financial literacy along the way such as how to balance a checkbook, pay bills, buy property, invest and save money.
“All these things they actually do as an adult in the future,” Adade said. Students earn the title of financial guru when they balance their financial scales and find Stone Broke.
At that point the credit union opens a savings account for each student with $5 seed money. Then for each month a student saves $10, the bank matches it with $1 for up to a year.
“So that is actually $17 they can get from Leominster Credit Union for building this behavior of savings,” Adade said. Club Executive Director Donata Martin is hoping that turns into a full-service branch like those that Adade created at Clinton and Wachusett Regional high schools.
“It’s just a good way to get them to start planning, budgeting and learning all the mechanics of saving money,” Martin said. There’s potential for expanding the program for adults, Martin said.