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Rolling Green Elementary Students Partner With First American Bank To Build Financial Success

Posted September 03, 2015 in Web Exclusives, Urbandale

URBANDALE, Iowa – September 3, 2015 – In addition to excelling in their rigorous core academics, Rolling Green Elementary students are mastering financial concepts through the development of a student-run bank in partnership with First American Bank of Urbandale. The First American Bank at Rolling Green has been operating since 2011 with an important aim: to help students learn the fundamentals of money management in order to prepare them for future financial success. Students are involved in every facet of bank operations—from applying, interviewing and being hired as the bank board of directors, to interviewing and hiring bank tellers, to being customers of the bank by making deposits and withdrawals—leading to a greater sense of engagement, ownership and stewardship. The school bank employs 21 Rolling Green students in fourth and fifth grades, is open every Thursday morning in the school’s front lobby and has countless student customers with last year’s deposits totaling over $4,000.

“The student bank has given us an opportunity to reach out and help students learn an important, lifelong skill,” said Chris Lindo, First American Bank Representative. “It is a unique and fun opportunity for both students and First American Bank staff as it has created a great partnership and provided the ability to enhance educational opportunities. Each year we look forward to educating and working with students.”

While working at the bank is reserved for fourth and fifth grade students, all Rolling Green students have the opportunity to open a student bank account which pays a special student bank interest rate. After students complete an application packet, with the help of a parent or guardian, they are welcome to visit the student bank on a weekly basis when school is in session. Deposits can be between $0.25 and $50.00 per week. Students are given a balance book in order to keep track of their deposits and receive bank statements on a regular basis.

Student Bank Board Members act in a manner very similar to a board of directors at a bank. They create signage and develop promotional ideas to help the bank grow and to build interest with their peers. Board members assist with the set up and running of the bank and help their teller staff to provide the best possible customer service. Bank tellers are in charge of a cash drawer in which they must balance at the beginning and end of every bank day. They are responsible for assisting customers with their deposits, ensuring accuracy of transactions and creating hand-written receipts for each customer. Tellers keep a log of the deposits and assist customers as needed in completing deposit slips and endorsing checks.

“The relationship with the First American Bank has been a great business opportunity for the students and reinforces why we are the Project Based school,” said Julia Taylor, Rolling Green Elementary Principal. “The process of applying, getting staff references and going through the interview process are all important ‘real’ elements of how to get and keep a position in the real world. We are so lucky to have such a supportive bank partner in our community!”

Rolling Green Elementary students managing the Rolling Green First American Bank. Board Members: Fernanda Rodriguez, Anna Thompson, Elliot Cataldi. Bank Tellers: Tyler Heitink, Josh Neas, Jenna Vander Hart, Tommy Ngo, Jack Neas, Brayden Mulligan. Not pictured: Payton Johnson, board member.

Rolling Green Elementary students managing the Rolling Green First American Bank. Board Members: Fernanda Rodriguez, Anna Thompson, Elliot Cataldi. Bank Tellers: Tyler Heitink, Josh Neas, Jenna Vander Hart, Tommy Ngo, Jack Neas, Brayden Mulligan. Not pictured: Payton Johnson, board member.

Feedback from parents has been very positive as they see their children learning the fundamentals for successful money management at a young age. Student enthusiasm continues to grow as they increase their understanding of how money works and the importance of saving over time. By having the bank at school, it provides greater convenience for families with emphasis on financial literacy being an integral part of primary and secondary education. Since opening the First American Bank at Rolling Green, two more school banks have been established: First American Bank at Jensen Elementary in Urbandale and First American Bank at Westridge Elementary in West Des Moines.
Rolling Green Elementary has an innovative and visionary curriculum as it offers families the option of a year-round school calendar. A shorter summer vacation combined with a two-week intersession break in October, an extra intersession week following spring break in March and one additional intersession week in May comprise the academic calendar. Students are encouraged to attend Rolling Green during intersession breaks in order to learn through a theme-based, hands-on approach that includes numerous field trips in support of the district vision: to bring learning to life for everyone. To learn more about how Urbandale is transforming education, visit:

About First American Bank
First American Bank is a longstanding privately owned Community Bank with roots going back to 1934. The Bank provides extensive services in retail, home mortgage and commercial banking. Additionally, it focuses on providing high-value services to its private banking, trust and wealth management clientele. First American Bank has offices throughout Iowa and Southwest Florida. To learn more about First American Bank, visit:

First American Bank
7031 Douglas Ave
Urbandale, IA 50322
(515) 237-5371

About Urbandale Community School District
The Urbandale Community School District includes portions of Des Moines and Urbandale, Iowa. The district serves over 3,900 students in six elementary schools, one middle school and one comprehensive high school. The Urbandale district supports an increasingly diverse student population where 51 languages are spoken. Building on the existing foundation of excellence in education, Urbandale is transforming education throughout the district. By implementing innovative Quality/Continual Improvement strategies that create learning environments that more fully engage, challenge and motivate students, Urbandale is taking transformation from theory into practice. Urbandale prepares students for becoming lifelong learners and is a school district that brings learning to life for everyone. To learn more, visit:

Urbandale Community School District
11152 Aurora Avenue
Urbandale, IA 50322

Dena Soenke
Communications Partner
Urbandale Community School District
(515) 868-1879

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