Brooke’s students can’t wait to learn more about money | News, Sports, Jobs

IN THE SQUARE — Fourth-grader Ava Conley listens intently while being interviewed by Principal Scott Donohew for a job at the school store, where she and her classmates shop using play money which they won for their good behavior. Students also maintain game checking accounts at school for future expenses. — Contributed

WELLSBURG — The children of Brooke Intermediate South earn a little “cheek” money, but they are very serious about what they do with it.

David Klick, senior vice president of WesBanco Bank, said he and Brian Tennant, assistant vice president, visited the school several times a year to talk to third and fourth year students about saving judicious and prudent use of credit cards.

The presentations are part of money education programs conducted in various schools in partnership with WesBanco and other financial institutions.

But Klick said he was impressed with the way principal Scott Donohew and David Secrist, a teacher at the school, took the children’s money education one step further.

Donohew said young people get “Dojo” dollars for various forms of good behavior.

Secrist explained that Dojo is a computer program used by the school to encourage positive behavior and parental involvement.

Children can pass the “species” in a school store filled with toys, clothing, and other items purchased through school fundraisers or donated by members of the community, which is also not uncommon in schools today .

But young people can also set aside their funds in “verify accounts” they opened at school.

Donohew noted that each child fills out an application asking for their address or phone number, information they should know in an emergency.

He added that they make deposits into their accounts with the help of teachers acting as cashiers; and receive regular bank statements while being encouraged to ensure that their purchases do not exceed their balance.

Secrist said that, like stores outside of school, purchases include taxes.

“It’s a way of teaching them that if something costs $20, it will cost more than that,” he said, adding that he also explains, “The tax is how the government pays for things like schools and police and fire departments.”

Klick noted that in addition to buying merchandise from the school store, students can use their money to pay for admission to school events, encouraging them to plan ahead.

Donohew added that the store is made up of students who interviewed him first.

Candidates for the positions are encouraged to prepare in advance, said the director, who recalled that a boy had dressed up for the occasion in a desire to make a good impression.

klick said, “I was there while the interviews were conducted in a very professional manner.”

Donohew has confirmed that he takes them very seriously.

“Interviews only last about seven minutes, but it may seem longer to them,” he said.

Donohew said the goal isn’t to make kids feel uncomfortable, but to help them be more comfortable when they participate in the real thing years later.

Donohew said he tried to fill jobs at the store with at least two kids from each grade.

Of the program, he says, “I think it teaches life skills that kids don’t often learn.”

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