Ridgeview Middle School student Kalynn Doyle has taught her mother about credit card use since she participated in a Fifth Third Bank Young Bankers Club program.
Kalynn was one of the fifth and sixth-grade students who participated in the financial education program. The curriculum covers budgeting, banking and payment methods, overspending and lending to others, borrowing money, jobs, income, saving, investing, risk and insurance.
She took the course over the summer at Horizons Atlanta at Holy Innocents’ Episcopal School. The nonprofit summer learning program announced that early last month it received a $10,000 technology grant from Fifth Third Bank for the program. The grant funded more iPads for students to participate in the program, which has gone digital since 2021.
Kalynn said after completing the program, she has gained financial literacy and the importance of saving and spending. And she’s spending more wisely now. She was surprised to learn how credit cards worked with paying interest.
Her mother, Lakesha Doyle, said now when they are out and she pulls out a credit card, Kalynn will quiz her about using it.
“She’ll ask me if she sees me pull it out, ‘Do we need it? Or do you just want it?’” her mother said.
Kalynn asked if her mother knew what the interest was on that card, her mother said. It makes her mindful of what are needs and what are wants.
Lakesha said when she was a child, she wasn’t taught these things. By learning when she’s young, as Kalynn gets older, she’ll be mindful of the choices she makes, her mother said.
Kalynn has tried to share her newfound wisdom with her classmates, telling them about savings and how they shouldn’t just spend all their money on something they want. They don’t necessarily take her advice.
“They all need to go through the program,” she said.
The Young Bankers program and other Horizons Atlanta programs have made a difference in her schoolwork, she said.
“It helps me out a lot. I make a lot of new friends,” Kalynn said.
As students got behind scheduled milestones in learning because of the pandemic, the summer program has helped, she said.
“It helped me stay on track with learning,” she said.
Kate Kratovil, the site director of Holy Innocents’ Horizons program, said the Young Bankers program began when a parent of a student at the school, Ray Shrader, who also was a vice president at Fifth Third Bank and served on the Horizons Atlanta advisory board, said the bank had a free program targeting fifth and sixth graders about financial literacy. He suggested adding it to the summer curriculum.
“I think it’s really wonderful that they are being introduced to financial literacy at a younger age, right before they really start going out into kind of the part-time or seasonal workforce, right as teenagers,” she said.
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