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Walking on the Beach

Bright Futures Student Bank Opens for 11th Year of Operation

06-Oct-2017 Bright Futures School Bank, a partnership between Bank of Lancaster and Lancaster Middle School, has opened this school term for its 11th year of operation. The school bank made history in the Northern Neck when its doors opened; and it has received both State and National recognition, including the Virginia Tech Excellence in Education Award for its quality and significant contribution to education in Virginia.

Bright Futures Bank, a partnership between Bank of Lancaster and Lancaster Middle School (LMS), has opened for its 11h year of operation. The 7th grade students who have been selected to run the school bank for the 2017-2018 school year recently visited Bank of Lancaster’s Main Office to learn about banking, privacy, and their new positions as student bankers. Featured are (l to r – back row) Bank of Lancaster’s Senior Vice President & Market Leader Susan Pittman; student bankers Eli Pittman, Destiny Farrell, Ella Posey, Raven Hottinger, X’Zaveion Owens, Kelvin Davis; (l to r – front row) Hazel S. Farmer, Senior Vice President & Consumer Education Director; student bankers Lyric Pinn, Laura Sutton, Casey Murray; Brenda Pittman, LMS School Bank Coordinator; and Ann Marchetti, Bank of Lancaster’s School Bank Coordinator. The program was designed to address financial literacy standards of learning, and the school bank is staffed and operated by the students with supervision from Bank of Lancaster personnel. The banking partnership provides a model where students actively participate as bank managers, tellers and marketing associates.

Hazel Farmer, Senior Vice President and Consumer Education Director for Bank of Lancaster, was a driving force behind the creation of the school bank. Farmer stated, “We commend Lancaster Middle School for its commitment to financial literacy. And we commend these young people who will be working the student bank this year; it is a big commitment for them. The Virginia Bankers Association has advised that it believes our school bank is one of only a few in the entire Commonwealth of Virginia. School banks often open but it takes a great deal of work on both the bank side and the school side to make the program a success. And Bright Futures, now in its 11th year of operation, is certainly a shining success story! Again, we commend Lancaster Middle School for giving its students this wonderful, educational opportunity.”

On September 28th, the new 7th grade student bankers toured Bank of Lancaster’s Main Office in Kilmarnock. The new tellers and marketing associates are: Kelvin Davis, Destiny Farrell, Raven Hottinger, Casey Murray, X’Zaveion Owens, Ella Posey, Lyric Pinn, Eli Pittman, and Laura Sutton.

Susan Pittman, Senior Vice President & Market Leader, welcomed the students. Farmer and Ann Marchetti, the School Bank Coordinator, conducted the tour, giving the students a chance to see a teller line in operation, tour the loan areas and learn about the importance of good credit, as well as meeting with Human Resources and Marketing. The students also learned about the importance of privacy and confidentiality in the banking industry.

Farmer reports, “Students in the 7th and 8th grades, who are in good academic standing, are eligible to apply for the positions. They complete a job application, and then all applicants go through a detailed interview process. Once selected to work the school bank, they not only undergo teller training or a marketing training program but also go through programs to help them understand privacy, confidentiality and they sign a Code of Ethics. On the days they are assigned to work the school bank, they have to make up all class assignments. If they have a test or field trip or anything that keeps them from working the bank on their assigned day, it is their responsibility to work with the school bank branch manager to find a replacement. These are life lessons they are learning, and we are so proud to be a part of this.”

Ann Marchetti with Bank of Lancaster is the school bank coordinator. She is at the school bank each week and does all of the training, providing support to the student tellers and assisting the marketing associates on marketing plans. Bank of Lancaster provides $1 to any student who wishes to open a school bank account. After that initial deposit, future deposits can be as little as 50 cents. “It’s not about the amount of the deposit,” Marchetti states, “it’s about the discipline of learning to save a little each week. Whether its allowance or money a child receives for their birthday or Christmas, we encourage saving a portion. Students are also recognized and rewarded for saving regularly. They are rewarded for the number of times they save, not the amount of the deposit.”

Returning 8th grade student bankers this school term are Asia Ball, Jaylen Carter, Macs Crittenden, Kaylee Donovan, Kylie Ewell, Brooklyn Farrell, Tristen McDaniels, Olivia Saunders, Aniya Smith, Hailey Smith, and Bradley Wilmore.

Farmer states, “Bank of Lancaster and Lancaster Middle School were one of the pioneers of the school bank program. It was such an important step for our Bank and the School to take that we received national recognition at the grand opening 11 years ago. In attendance were the President of the Virginia Bankers Association; a representative from the American Bankers Association headquartered in Washington, DC; the Chairman of the Virginia State Chamber of Commerce; and many local bank, school and county officials.

“It has been a personal pleasure to watch so many of these young people grow over the years, and I am joined by many of my co-workers at Bank of Lancaster who have been directly involved in this program. As community bankers, it means a great deal to us to be able to share our knowledge with these young people. We have been sharing with our community for 87 years, and the student bank is only one of hundreds of community commitments we are honored to be a part of. While Bright Futures Student Bank will not change its name, Bank of Lancaster will soon be Virginia Commonwealth Bank. When we conducted our recent tour with the student bankers, we shared with them the importance of community banking and how deep our roots run in the Northern Neck, especially here in Kilmarnock where we opened our doors in 1930. We are excited to be able to branch out into other areas of our Commonwealth and take our style of community banking to new markets. But our commitment to the Northern Neck, our roots, will never change. We encouraged our new student bankers to explore opportunities in life but always remain true to their roots. We again commend Lancaster Middle School for providing this opportunity for their students, with a special thanks to Mrs. Brenda Pittman, who manages the program on the school side.”


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