Independent Bank and Creative Technologies Academy announce opening of student bank in Cedar Springs

November 27, 2013

Independent Bank is proud to announce that the student bank at Creative Technologies Academy (CTA) in Cedar Springs is officially open. Julie Wheeler, Independent Bank’s Cedar Springs branch manager, teamed up with sixth grade teacher, Jenny Bangma, to open the school bank on October 23, with a ribbon cutting ceremony in the cafeteria.

The program helps kids learn the basics of savings and money skills, and Independent Bank’s associates volunteer their time to hire and train the students. The staff consists of eight students – a manager, alternate, site engineer, two marketing specialists and three tellers.

The bank is open two Wednesdays every month for an hour. Students in grades four through eight can open accounts and make deposits, but need parental permission to make a withdrawal. At the grand opening, the bank staff wore their banking uniforms, which consisted of their CTA Student Bank T-shirts and nametags as they greeted their first customers and began taking deposits.

"The students and the teachers are very excited, and I am enjoying working with the kids and being involved in this valuable program," said Wheeler.

"These kids are our future. It’s so important that we take the time to give them the financial knowledge and skills they need to succeed," added Wheeler.

This is the first year for the student bank. At the end of the school year, the staff will retire, and a new group of sixth graders will have the experience of running the bank.