Early in the school year Durango Montessori and Alpine Bank began a partnership. It started with logistical arrangements for our upcoming bazaar and resulted in a new financial literacy program for our students. Children learned the concepts related to the theme “Save, Spend, and Share” during visits from Alpine Bank representatives, and then applied their learning to our school’s holiday bazaar and during a field trip to the bank. Specifically, children learned about long-term saving vs. saving for a major purchase, how to equitably allocate money between savings, charity, and spending, and currency equivalence (10 dimes equals a dollar) to name a few.
Children were able to apply much of what they learned during our annual holiday bazaar, where many of them sold their goods and made change for their customers. Children also made choices about how they wanted to manage their earnings from the bazaar by asking themselves: should I take home some of my profits, or should I donate all of my profits to my school? Our final culminating experience was a trip to Alpine Bank, where children were able to see currency equivalence in action during demonstrations on the use of bill and coin counting machines (yes 2,000 nickels really is $100). When they entered into the bank’s vault children were also able to apply what they had already learned about what happens to their money after it is deposited at the bank.
After their time at Alpine Bank, children reflected on their experience; here are a few quotes from them:
“The volt [sic] is extremely small!” –JW
“There were security cameras all around us.” –SK
“I liked the cool machine that counted money into whatever form you want [sic].” –HW
“The ATM system really impressed me.” –AS