Treasurer Stenberg and Ben Franklin on Saving, Spending, Sharing
Photos by Jana Langemach

Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg and a modern-day Ben Franklin stopped by Cavett Elementary School on April 19 to talk about saving, spending, and sharing with 116 fourth graders.

The visit was part of the Teach Children to Save program begun in 1997 by the American Bankers Association to encourage children to develop wise saving and spending habits. Teach Children to Save helps educate children and their families about the importance of saving money to achieve their dreams, especially post-secondary education.

In Nebraska, the Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST), the state’s 529 college savings program, collaborated with First National Bank of Omaha, NEST program manager, on the Teach Children to Save initiative. Bank representatives will visit 20 Nebraska schools during April and May to promote the message of wise savings, spending, and sharing.

At Cavett School in Lincoln, Treasurer Stenberg shared little-known facts about Ben Franklin, including Franklin’s famous quote, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Stenberg said Franklin became very wealthy as a print shop owner, land speculator, and publisher, and, by age 42, had amassed enough wealth to retire and live a life of leisure.

Stenberg also will visit Field Club Elementary School in Omaha on April 26 as part of the Teach Children to Save events.

David Overholtzer, a Council Bluffs, Iowa, CPA, who portrays Franklin at the Teach Children to Save events, asks the children to think about the definition of money, examples of money, the role of bartering, and the difference between wants and needs. He also explores the pros and cons of putting money under a pillow, saving money in a bank, spending money on a bike or maybe on a lawn mower that could be put to use to earn money.

“Your moms and dads make these decisions every day. You are old enough now to start thinking about these types of decisions,” Overholtzer said.