OVB BANKit looks to make impact in area schools

The 2019-2020 academic year was officially underway last month as area students headed back to the classroom. With school in session, Ohio Valley Bank also returned to local classrooms with their BANKit program.

2019 PPHS BANKit

2018-2019 OVB BANKit winners pose with OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush after earning their cash prizes.

The OVB BANKit program, which was created in 2010, brings real-life banking lessons to the classroom in a fun, interactive format. OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush conducts each lesson, which typically takes place on a monthly basis at each participating school. The program works as a game in which students are given $100 in “buzz bucks,” the OVB BANKit currency. Students have the option to invest their buzz bucks as they wish among different accounts, including CDs, money market, basic checking and savings. They also have the option to purchase and sell shares of stock in the game’s mock company, Pseudosoft.

OVB partners with several area high schools to present the program. Local teachers graciously open their classrooms for BANKit, and often make the program part of a class participation grade. Michelle Alderman, River Valley High School personal finance teacher, said that she enjoyed being able to utilize BANKit to coincide with her lessons.

“The BANKit program is beneficial to the curriculum I teach because it allows hands-on practice of the applications they learn in the classroom. For example, instead of just hearing about interest, they are actually able to see how interest works within their savings tools within the BANKit game and watch how their money can grow,” Alderman said.

Roush described the program as being a great tool that brings financial literacy to area youth.

“OVB BANKit is a very hands-on experience. Instead of just talking to students about the functions of a bank and account types, the program lets them experience what it’s like to have various accounts. It forces them to keep track of their funds and teaches them how to properly budget. Through this interactive style, students learn more through actual experience as opposed to reading a textbook,” she said. “In my classroom experiences with the program, it’s been fun to see how competitive the students get. They all want to have the most money at the end of the year. Since we have prizes at stake, they are extra motivated, and it’s nice to know that they are learning valuable skills along the way too.”

While students play the BANKit game with buzz bucks, actual cash prizes are at stake. The student at each participating school who ends the year/semester with the highest portfolio total wins a cash prize of $50. In addition, the student who wins the final review game, which covers all of the lessons taught throughout the course of the program, wins $20. In addition, all final portfolio totals per class are averaged, with the winning class enjoying a group prize, such as a pizza party or cupcakes.

Johnathan Mayne, Point Pleasant High School civics teacher, said the program helps students meet the required personal finance unit of civics.

“Personal finance is a required part of the civics curriculum and (BANKit) has been a great program over the many years to cover the required material and let the students have fun doing it,” he added. “Most high school students have no idea about how accounts, loans, credit, etc. work. I believe it is greatly beneficial for them to know this before leaving high school and embarking on their journey to adulthood. And that is also what I hope they get out of the program.”

Joshua Riffe, social studies teacher at Gallia Academy High School, agreed that OVB BANKit helps prepare students for life after high school.

“Students get relevant financial information that will benefit them in their adult lives,” Riffe said. “This program gives financial information everyone needs.”

During each OVB BANKit visit, students draw a Real Life Card, which may force them to pay an unforeseen bill or provide them with unexpected cash. Students also have a chance to manage their banking and make deposits/withdrawals in their accounts. Mayne said the students’ reaction to Real Life Cards was his favorite part of the game as well as the banking simulation. While Alderman described the banking portion as a great tie-in to the lessons she teaches.

“My favorite aspect of the program is that students get to sharpen their financial skills throughout the semester through playing the BANKit game. I typically teach a unit on checking accounts during the first four weeks of school so it is nice that students get to keep using these skills learned throughout the semester,” Alderman said. “From this program I hope students become better prepared for their financial future. I hope they gain confidence to feel comfortable managing their own finances and make wise financial decisions.”

In addition to the banking activity, each BANKit lesson covers a financial topic. Lessons set for this academic year include:

  1. Basic differences in bank account types
  2. Filling out bank paperwork, such as deposits and withdrawals; check writing; updating check register
  3. Reading a bank statement
  4. Credit/Cost of Credit/ Credit Reports/Credit Scores
  5. Budgeting
  6. Identity Theft
  7. Credit vs. Debit
  8. Interest

For more information on the OVB BANKit program and other financial education programs, visit http://www.ovbc.com and/or contact Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com.

 

Share the season without breaking the bank

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Did you know that the average person spends more than $1,000 on holiday shopping? And that doesn’t include travel, entertainment and all the other fun stuff the holidays entail.

That’s why Benjamin Tracker from Ohio Valley Bank wants to help you stay on top of your spending now, before it turns into a blizzard of bills in January.

It’s easy to set spending targets with Benjamin Tracker. And once you have them, they can keep you grounded when the festivities get going in earnest.

Setting spending targets may be the best decision you make all season! And we’ve made sure doing it is just as easy.

There are other great features that Benjamin Tracker provides like monthly cash flow, spending patterns and the like.

But let’s keep it simple. Set your spending targets before the holidays heat up. You’ll be glad you did.
How to Set a Spending Target Read more of this post

Embrace fall with festive, fun local events

Autumn Halloween pumpkins. Orange pumpkins over bright autumnal nature backgroundSo long summer and welcome autumn. It’s unofficially fall, which means our area has a variety of festive events on tap.

Coming up this weekend in Gallipolis, Ohio, is the 6th Annual Gallia County BBQ Festival. The event, hosted by the Gallia County Convention and Visitors Bureau, will take place Saturday from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Gallipolis City Park and First Avenue/State Street. Admission as well as festival activities are free; however, attendees can purchase barbecue and sides from local vendors. In addition to tasty food, there will be face painting and inflatables for children.

In Meigs County Ohio, don’t miss the Racine Party in the Park, which kicks off this Thursday and runs through Saturday. The free event will place at Star Mill Park in Racine. Carnival rides, live music, a parade, car show, kiddie tractor pull and many other activities are on schedule.

The Annual Jackson Apple Festival returns Sept.17-21 in downtown Jackson, Ohio. As usual this area tradition will feature a great week filled with entertainment, music, food, parades, crafts, and competitions, including apple bobbing, of course. The Ohio University Marching 110 Drum Line will perform 9 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18. And though you won’t find it on the schedule, we’re also told by festival organizers that on Wednesday the top-ranked cornhole player in the nation, Cody Henderson, will be stopping by for a friendly game and meet and greet with festival goers. If you want to get a jump start on Apple Festival fun, stop by our OVB Jackson Office to check out 2018 Little Miss Apple Festival Jadyn Dunkle’s display

In Meigs County, Ohio, hop on over to Pomeroy for the Sternwheel Regatta. The regatta kicks off Thursday, Sept. 19, with a special firetruck parade. In addition, the event features “Rally by the River,” which will include live entertainment as well as competitions and children’s activities.

Celebrate the Mothman legend in Point Pleasant, W.Va. Sept. 21-22. The 18th Annual Mothman Festival is always a hit as it draws visitors both locally and across the country. The event features a variety of entertainment and vendors. The Mothman 5K will get things started on Saturday, Sept. 21, at 8 a.m. in downtown Point Pleasant. Race check-in will take place 7 a.m. at the Mothman Museum. Mothman hayrides will return 7 p.m. that evening at the West Virginia State Farm Museum.

Gallipolis will host The Emancipation Celebration Weekend Sept. 21-22 at the Gallia County Junior Fairgrounds. This year’s keynote speaker is Ric Sheffield, professor of legal studies and sociology at Kenyon College. The celebration weekend also will host activities for kids, which will include an appearance from Paw Patrol characters.

In Huntington, W.Va., music enthusiasts should check out the 4th Annual Funktafest Saturday, Sept. 21 at the Ritter Park Amphitheater. The one-day musical festival runs from 11:30 a.m.-10 p.m. Musical styles ranging from top funk, jam and reggae will be showcased.

October brings more festival fun to the area starting with the West Virginia Pumpkin Festival in Milton. The event is slated for Oct. 3-5 and will take place at West Virginia Pumpkin Park. The festival, which began in 1986, is one of the largest fests in the state. More than 100 skilled artisans will display crafts and there will be a variety of exhibits and demonstrations, including blacksmithing, pottery making, quilting and wood working.

The Beaver Oktoberfest is back Oct. 4-6 in the village of Beaver, Ohio. Come out and celebrate the region’s German heritage. Rides, crafts, and great food abound during the weekend, all leading up to the Sunday Parade.

Fall fun continues in Point Pleasant with the Annual Battle Days Festival Oct. 4-6. The event features a variety of historical re-enactments and demonstrations. Activities will take place on Main Street and at Tu-Endie-Wei State Park. A parade is set for 11 a.m. Oct. 5. Also on tap Oct. 5-6 in Point Pleasant, is the Country Fall Festival. The event, which takes place at the West Virginia State Farm Museum, boasts a variety of fall-themed activities for the whole family to enjoy. From demonstrations to delicious apple butter making, this is an event that will surely get you in the autumn mood.

In Gallipolis, the River Rat Beer and Music Festival returns to the City Park Oct. 5. The festival, which runs from 11 a.m.-11 p.m., will feature an impressive slate of performing artists and craft beer lineup. Food vendors from around the Appalachian region also will be on site.

The Bob Evans Farm Festival will return for the 49th year Oct. 11-13. Open daily from 9 a.m.-5 p.m., the festival is $5 for adults, while children ages 5 and under get in free. The event, which is a staple in Rio Grande, Ohio, is a great fall, family festival. From rides and crafts to festive food and demonstrations, the event is jam-packed. Live performances and shows are also on schedule. In addition, representatives from the Columbus Zoo will be in attendance to show six to eight animals. For a full schedule of events, visit www.bobevans.com.

Also during that weekend, check out the Bristol Village Fair, held Oct. 11-12 at Bristol Village in Waverly, Ohio. This free event features art and crafts ranging from handmade jewelry to toys to quilts. The fair is open Friday from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m.-noon.

On Oct. 26, the Harvest Fest/Tales in the Tavern event will take place in Point Pleasant at Krodel Park’s Fort Randolph. Historical re-enactments are scheduled from 4-8 p.m. Also Halloween enthusiasts won’t want to miss seeing the iconic Pumpkin House in Kenova, W.Va. Oct. 25-26. The unique house, which has gained national attention the past few years, is decorated with more than 3,000 carved pumpkins.

For more information on autumn events in your community, contact your area chamber of commerce or tourism center. Be sure to check back here next month as we keep you posted on area Halloween events. Remember to think Community First as you enjoy this lovely fall season.