From Nickels & Dimes to the Federal Reserve

Forty-one children from the YMCA summer day camp participated in the Savings Makes Cents Program implemented as part of the NBEDC Community Outreach program with the help of Downtown New Bedford Inc, Citizens Union Savings Bank, Community Development, and the Economic Stabilization Trust.

YMCA Executive Director Michelle Rodericks and Youth Director Maxine Hebert, lead the children through a series of activities in preparation for the climax of the program—a trip to Boston and a tour of the Federal Reserve Bank. For some, this was their first visit to Boston. The children behaved magnificently and were great ambassadors for the city of New Bedford.

To help save their money, the children created their own piggy banks as part of an art project. They made weekly contributions or “deposits” to save spending money for the field trip. Prior to embarking for Boston, the children were greeted by Kevin Pelland, Vice President at the Citizens Union Savings at the bank’s headquarters in downtown New Bedford. Mr. Pelland explained how important it is to save money, how money earns interest, and how money is re-invested after deposits are made. The children enjoyed walking around the bank, interacting with bank employees and peeking in the vault. The bank made a $1.00 contribution to each of the children’s piggy banks.

At the Federal Reserve Bank, Beth Badger from the Trust greeted the youngsters and later acted as tour guide around the city of Boston. The children toured the Federal Reserve Bank and participated in fun learning activities. They had lunch at the food court in busy South Station. While they were able to spend their savings on lunch or dessert, the day campers learned they could save some money for buying something else at another time. After lunch it was off to Faneuil Hall –the kids where dazzled by outside musicians, street performers, and even magicians.

This was the second annual trip for the NBEDC. Last year 40 children from the YWCA participated and we are looking forward to working with more youth next year.