BALTIMORE - It's not your average day at Bluford Drew Jemison Stem Academy East. Scholars at the all male public Charter School are getting financially fit.
It's all part of Operation Hope Banking On Our Future Program.
"Before I did not know what to do with money. All I thought to do was just spend it. I didn't know you had to pay other stuff with money. I didn't know about water bills or gas and electric bills. Now I have learned to save my money," said Rashad Hairston, seventh grader.
Operation Hope works with volunteers from area universities to teach students about checking and savings accounts, the power of credit, investments and budgets.
"The goal is to teach the young people the language of money. We want to change their mind set on how they think about money and savings. The most important thing is to teach them young," said Dionne Waldron with Operation Hope.
On this day, students are participating in a lesson on budgeting their allowance of $100. The goal is getting them to focus on needs rather than wants.
It's a challenge for the students. Some are torn between spending money on candy, tennis shoes and clothes. PNC Bank donated $100,000 to the program to help educate 2,500 students over 36 months.
"PNC believes strongly in investing in the communities that we serve and one way of doing it is providing financial education to people of all ages. We believe strongly that our young children really need this information," said Lordes Montes Greenan with PNC Bank.
The Banking On Our Future Program is for students in fourth to 12th grade in Baltimore area schools. The program has educated over 25,000 students since 2003.
This year the goal is to educate 4,500 students.
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