Ben Franklin with a Few of his Friends at Field Club School in Omaha
Photos by Jana Langemach

A modern-day Ben Franklin showed up April 26 with a couple of his best friends – Nebraska State Treasurer Don Stenberg and Omaha banker Alec Gorynski – to talk to fourth graders at Field Club Elementary School in Omaha about savings, spending, and sharing.

The visit was a kickoff for the 2016 Teach Children to Save campaign, co-sponsored by Treasurer Stenberg and First National Bank of Omaha. The annual event helps educate fourth graders and their families about the importance of saving money to achieve their dreams, especially post-secondary education.

All students received backpacks from First National Bank filled with information about wise saving, spending, and sharing. Four lucky students at Field Club Elementary found surprises in their backpacks and took home $529 Nebraska Educational Savings Trust (NEST) scholarships.

Gorynski, senior director of Community Development and Corporate Social Responsibility for First National Bank, said Teach Children to Save events will take place in 50 schools in Nebraska, Kansas, Illinois, Colorado, and South Dakota, reaching 3,200 students. More than 1,500 children will be reached in Nebraska alone.

Treasurer Stenberg told the fourth graders about Vault, a new financial literacy program for fourth and fifth graders, to be offered this fall by the Treasurer’s Office at no charge to schools. Before introducing the main attraction, Stenberg also shared a few little-known facts about the printer, inventor, and statesman. Ben Franklin became wealthy enough to retire at age 42 and spend the rest of his life with pursuits he enjoyed, Stenberg said.

Ben Franklin talked to the children about the definition of money, types of money, and ways to get goods and services through bartering, trading, and negotiating. He also talked about the benefits of saving versus the benefits of spending on wise purchases such as a bicycle. He also helped the fourth graders understand the difference between wants and needs.

Treasurer Stenberg and the modern-day Ben Franklin, portrayed by Council Bluffs, Iowa, CPA David Overholtzer, visited Cavett Elementary School in Lincoln on April 19 with the Teach Children to Save message.