WAYNE — State Nebraska Bank & Trust and Wayne Elementary School have joined efforts to offer an in-school savings program for students called the SNB Blue Devil Branch. With parental permission, students in kindergarten thru 6th grade will be able to open a savings account at school.

Beginning Oct. 24, the SNB Blue Devil Branch will be open on Thursdays from 7:30 to 8:20 a.m., in the school cafeteria to accept student deposits. The emphasis is on regular savings, not big balances.

“We are excited to offer students the chance to save money from a young age and build strong habits to become lifelong savers,” said Russ Plager, principal of Wayne Elementary School. “Having the branch in the school makes it both easy and exciting for our elementary students to reach these goals.”

The new branch will be staffed by 5th and 6th grade student tellers under supervision of bank employees and Andi Diediker, 5th grade math teacher and the program’s school contact. The branch will be closed over the summer months and reopen each school year.

These special savings accounts are only active at the SNB Blue Devil Branch. On the student’s first deposit, State Nebraska Bank & Trust will deposit $5 into the student’s account to help them get started.

Instead of interest, students will receive fun incentives from the bank based on frequency of deposits, such as coupons to the Scholastic Book Fair, the Majestic Theatre, the Wayne Aquatic Center concessions, and Udder Delights.

Students will maintain their accounts during their time at school, with withdrawals allowed when either the student leaves Wayne Elementary or graduates from 6th grade.

More account details can be found at www.statenebank.com/about/blue-devil-branch.

This program is part of a state-wide effort led by the Nebraska Council on Economic Education to teach financial literacy to youth. Currently, there are nearly 30 in-school savings programs operating in Nebraska and Iowa.

The SNB Blue Devil Branch is the first in-school bank in Northeast Nebraska.

“The goal of this program is to provide our local Wayne students opportunities to not only learn about savings and how banks work, but to also become savers themselves,” said Matthew Ley, CEO of State Nebraska Bank & Trust.

Lessons will also be taught in classrooms about financial literacy, led by Wayne State College economics professor Dr. Lindsey Doctorman and her team of college students, in partnership with the Nebraska Council on Economic Education.

The community is invited to attend a ribbon cutting and grand opening ceremony for the new branch on Thursday, Oct. 24, 7:30 a.m. at Wayne Elementary School, located at 312 Douglas St.

Founded in 1892, State Nebraska Bank & Trust is the only bank locally owned in Wayne, run by the same family for five generations. For more information, call (402) 375-1130.

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