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October 7, 2013 - Craig Howell
Last week, a group of Huntington Bank employees volunteered their time to visit and teach the students at Weirton Heights Elementary, sharing their knowledge and helping to provide an educational opportunity these students otherwise might have had to wait several more years to receive.
Partnering with the Junior Achievement program, the bank employees spent time with students and discussed various aspects of the business world, ranging from the ideas behind supply and demand, the differences between needs and wants, entrepreneurship and even the differences among our modern payment methods. This is the second year for the program to be at Weirton Heights, and judging by some of the reactions I saw from the students, I hope it is able to spread to our other area schools in the future.
Walking into the classroom, one of the volunteers was showing the students how to write a check. Now, that's probably something most of these kids will never do as more financial services move into the electronic realm, but it's still something that is worthwhile to learn. Personally, I was in sixth grade before anyone even brought up the idea of teaching us how to write checks.
Our world is changing faster than ever, and while many of us might think it is too early for 6, 7 or 8 year olds to know about how to start a business, how to use a debit card, or the basics of our economic systems, quite frankly they are now in a position where they will have to learn many of these skills much earlier in order to keep up with the differences in technology, lifestyle and world connectivity.
The school's principal, Mr. Carey, even invited the students to figure out what I do for a living simply by observing my actions and belongings. They did a great job, guessing reporter, writer and photographer.
I know schools have certain requirements to meet with their lessons, but I see great merits with programs such as this where businesspeople have the opportunity to share their knowledge, helping these young students to better understand the world they will be facing (sooner, rather than later) and possibly even thinking ahead to what they might like to do for a living when they get older.
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