Saving is no easy task, especially during tough financial times. Most Americans don’t have enough money saved for emergencies. But the good news is through programs like the Piggy Bank, children are learning early about the importance of saving so they are prepared when they are looking to buy their first car and pay for college.
When the Piggy Bank opened its doors on Oct. 5, 2012, there was a bustling line of over 100 children who were anxiously waiting their turn to deposit their hard-earned savings into their first bank account.

Created by a dynamic group of young leaders, United Way of Southern Nevada’s Young Philanthropists Society, the Piggy Bank program has taught over 500 students at Walter Bracken Elementary School how to save and learn the importance of financial responsibility. According to the program’s chair, YPS Vice-chair and Piggy Bank Committee Chair Chelsie Campbell, the students of Bracken named the Piggy Bank and successfully saved over $18,000 during the first year.
“Seeing the kid’s smiles when they make a deposit is awesome,” Campbell said. “They are so proud of the money that they are saving every week.”

For the innovative program, Campbell and her fellow YPS members collaborated with Walter Bracken Elementary School, Junior Achievement, Silver State Schools Credit Union, Andson Foundation and various volunteers, to convert an unused room into a kid-friendly, walk-up bank-teller window with a TV to showcase each classroom’s savings. The Piggy Bank program also includes a six-module curriculum component that brings to life the importance of saving and money management.

According to Campbell, at the program’s start, kids planned to spend their savings on candy and bicycles, but by curriculum’s end their goals grew to one day afford a car or even a house.

“They learned to recognize the power of having a dollar in the bank,” Campbell said.

To learn more, contact Jason Soto, Director, Young Philanthropists Society-Major Gifts at JasonS@uwsn.org or 702.892.2360.

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