Woodcrest students receive a lesson in saving

 Messenger photo by Sandi Latimer

Logan Brown, a 7-year-old second grader at Woodcrest Elementary School, shows his piggy bank he got to help promote saving money. He was one three children who participated in a skit on saving money, holding a sign with the letter "F," which represented the word "First" in the phrase "Pay Yourself First," a way to remember how to save money.

Second-graders at Woodcrest Elementary School received a lesson Feb. 29 in economics and some assistance at putting it to use from Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown, County Treasurer Ed Leonard and Ohio State University Extension representative Susan Shockley.

The officials spoke to the children about saving money, and gave each of the children a piggy bank as part of Columbus Saves Week activities.

After explaining the program to the children, Brown and Leonard handed out little gray plastic piggy banks to the children and told them this was the first step in saving money. They also demonstrated how to open the bank when it is full.

"Did you ever want something and didn’t have enough money to buy what you want?" asked Brown, and several hands shot in the air. "You can start saving now for things you want later, like a college education, or an Ipod, or a bike or clothes and shoes."

Leonard told the children to think of what they want a year from now and save part of their allowance.

"Put ten cents of every dollar you get away for something specific," he said. "Put some money aside and don’t even think about it."

He explained that his job is to help the county save money. But he is also charged with collecting money from taxes.

"I collect the taxes on people’s homes," he said. "The money is used to pay firefighters, police officers, pay for animals in the zoo."

He said he spends part of the money, but saves some, too.

"I set aside part of the money and put it in the bank so it can earn more money," he said.

Shockley called on three children from the audience to hold signs that bore a letter P, Y and F. The letters stood for "Pay Yourself First."

As her three little helpers got into position, she kept chanting about "don’t go into debt, save some money, pay yourself first" and had the rest of the children to recite it with her.

The OSU Extension office is one of the leaders in the Columbus Saves project, Shockley said. Leaders in the project try to motivate people to save money.

Columbus Saves is the local counterpart of America Saves, a national campaign involving more than 1,000 nonprofit, governments and corporate groups to encourage individuals and families to save and build personal wealth, according to the web site www.columbussaves.org.

The web site offers visitors the opportunity to become Columbus Savers and provides tips for saving money. Activities such as visiting Woodcrest to talk about saving, the web site has signed up nearly 1,500 new savers.

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