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Bankers tout virtues of saving to RCMS students

Students were excited to learn some math and it showed by the questions they asked.

Last Tuesday at Rosemary Clarke Middle School, the kids got to talk to a real banker. Nevada State Bank officials went to the school to teach students about saving money. The bank spent two days presenting lessons to students about the importance of learning to hold on to their money.

Banker Renee Ratcliff said the program, “Teach Kids to Save,” has been around for the past couple of years at Manse Elementary School and this year was the first year at the middle school.

“We moved it here for this year and we should get back to Manse. It’s a program to help kids save money. We feel if we can get to kids early it’s going to carry through their whole life. Our bank implemented it a few years ago. It’s been going on for several years. It is a program the bank came up with,” she said.

Ratcliff said interest in the program and others like it are growing in the Nye County School District.

We have a high school program, “Get Smart about Credit,” and it is just something we bring in to get kids to learn early,” she said. “We have talked to Manse and the principal invited us back. I would like to get it into every school in Pahrump. In Vegas, they do it at several schools there and I just think it is an important program for the kids.”

Ratcliff feels there is a great need for such programs because kids get an allowance, or they start babysitting. She feels the kids just need a push to get them started early with banking.

“If they save some of that each time, now all of a sudden they’ve got the money for a game they wanted, or a new bicycle. It just helps them in the future when they become an adult,” Ratcliff explained.

This is just one way schools work to bring the real world to the kids. Manse Elementary School Principal Kyle Lindberg said schools struggle every year with shrinking field trip budgets and bringing professionals into the schools helps to fill in gaps.

He said for students to go on field trips they need to raise the money themselves or have fundraisers. He said some of the places they used to go to like the Nevada Natural History Museum in Las Vegas have a cost of $1 per kid because of Title I funding, which is a federal government program that provides funding to low income students. Our students could still not afford to go because of the transportation cost.

“The transportation costs have killed field trips,” he said. “Our field trip budget has been cut drastically. To go on field trips student have to do fundraisers or just flat out pay for them.”

Lindberg said he will have Ratcliff out to visit his school and he had Art Saveda visit the school. Saveda was a burn victim who had 85 percent burns on his body. He came to talk about the effects of burns.

Assistant Principal Laura Weir at Rosemary Clarke Middle School agrees with Lindberg. She said schools can get around the cost of field trips by bringing the real world to the school.

“We like to foster the community involvement in the school system. Renee actually contacted us from Nevada State Bank. She shared what she would like to share with the middle school at the beginning of the school year. The program talks about how kids could save money and it applies to math and makes math more realistic and applicable to real life for the students,” Weir said.

Weir said the school gets many visitors. They have had presenters on the Renaissance period who spoke to the world history classes in the past.

“He came in and presented on weapons of the day. It gets kids more involved. When you have real application to what you are studying the kids get more excited,” she said.

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