News 12 This Morning / Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2012
AIKEN, S.C. -- How old were you when you opened your first bank account? In South Carolina, children as young as 4 years old are opening their own, thanks to the Looney Toons Savings Club program at Security Federal Bank.
Security Federal runs savings club program in 27 schools. The kids open the account with just $5 and the bank gives them $1 on top of that. Then, the kids get deposit slips and they can start saving.
Fifth grader Makenzie Bryant deposited money into her very own bank account Tuesday at North Aiken Elementary.
"I deposited $2," she said.
A couple dollars a week every day since first grade has added up.
"I have like $170," Bryant said.
She and hundreds of kids all over the area are part of the Looney Toons Savings club at Security Federal Bank.
"They see that it's real life," said North Aiken Principal Rhonda Ray. "They're able to not only learn about counting money in the classroom, but counting their own money when they participate in the Looney Toons program."
Children up to 12 years old can start their own bank account. They can even make deposits at school and pull out their money at any Security Federal location.
"It reinforces key math skills that students need to learn at this early age," Ray said.
It's a lesson in saving and managing your money, too.
"It's teaching children, especially in this economy, how important it is to save, and a lot of times, parents can't necessarily write a check for that first car or write a check for college tuition, so it's really teaching them about saving for their own stuff that they want," said Looney Toons Coordinator Logan Spires.
For Makenzie, it's allowed her to use her own money to buy the things she wants.
"I got some new clothes and things for my room and presents for Christmas for my cousins," she said.
Children as young as 4 have their own accounts.
"We really want to reach them at a young age and instill great savings value in them," Spires said.
"The sooner they learn it, the better able they are to realize the importance of saving money," Ray said.
Anyone can have a Looney Toons Savings account. You do not have to be in one of the elementary schools that is a part of the program. Kids are also learn about having a bank account, like what it means to overdraft and the importance of not giving out your account information.
As they get older, their accounts roll over with them within the bank. After 12, it becomes a young savers account, and when they turn 18, it turns into your typical adult bank account.