Celebrate Teach Children to Save all month

Pink piggy bank with a dollar bill in the slot

Spring is starting off a bit different for all of us, but with kids at home doing online schoolwork, now is the perfect time to teach your children important financial lessons. Ohio Valley Bank is once again celebrating the American Bankers Association’s Teach Children to Save campaign.

While Teach Children to Save day is set for April 24, OVB encourages families to embrace the campaign all month. It’s never too early to teach children how to successfully manage their money. According to the ABA, Teach Children to Save has helped reach 10.5 million students through the commitment of more than 260,000 banker volunteers.

“Even though schools are currently closed due to COVID-19, we are working on other ways to spread the Teach Children to Save message to area youth. Since we can’t come to the schools right now, we hope to bring the valuable lessons from this program to your child’s living room,” Hope Roush, OVB Financial Literacy Leader said. “I encourage everyone to take the ideas from this blog post and apply it to your home school activities. Teaching children valuable financial skills is important now more than ever.”

OVB Vice President, Corporate Communications Bryna Butler echoed Roush’s thoughts regarding Teach Children to Save.

“Youth outreach a very special part of our Community First mission. These are the next leaders of our communities, and as the community bank, it is our responsibility to prepare them for the future. Teach Children to Save is a great way to reinforce the importance of saving and investing as part of overall financial wellness,” she said.

As many families are reworking their budgets due to the uncertainty of the world, consider involving your children in the process. By letting them see exactly how much things cost and how a budget works, you are providing them with the tools they need to carry into adulthood. Taking an active role in the Teach Children to Save campaign by teaching your children to make sound financial decisions will make our communities even stronger.

The following tips are ways you can incorporate the Teach Children to Save message at home with your families:

  • Set an example. Be responsible with your money. Show your children the importance of paying bills on time, setting savings goals, and budgeting as this will help your children understand money management. Remember children often emulate their parents’ habits, which includes their financial well-being.
  • Be open when it comes to your budget. As mentioned above, by involving your children into your budget planning, you will help them see hands-on what it takes to manage everyday expenses. Encourage your children to ask questions and be prepared to answer them. This list from the ABA offers eight ways to talk openly with your children about money.
  • Open a savings account for your child. Involving your children in the banking process at an early age can help prepare them to handle finances as an adult. OVB’s Statement Savings account, which does not require a minimum balance, is for ages 18 and under. Savings accounts can be opened online. Also, show your children how you manage money online through services such as NetTeller or Mobile Deposit. Many kids are already very tech savvy and showing them how you can easily bank online is a great way to maintain their attention. When stay-at-home orders are lifted and it’s deemed safe, bring your kids along with you on your next trip to the bank.
  • Demonstrate the differences between wants and needs. One of the major lessons in the Teach Children to Save campaign is learning to decipher between what is a want and a need. Children and even adults sometimes easily confuse the two prioritizing their wants over their needs, which can lead to bad financial decisions. Show your children items that are considered a need, such as food, and compare it to items that are wants, such as their newest video game. You can even make a game out of it: explore your house and point to different items where you ask your children to determine what is a need and what is a want. This could be both a fun and educational quarantine game for the whole family!
  • Help your child create a savings plan. Ask your child to think about something they really want. After costs are determined, create a plan to help them save for their item of choice. On the plan make a space where your child can keep track of the money earned toward their goal.
  • Involve family and friends in your child’s savings goal. By having others encourage your child’s saving goal this will only further solidify the importance of saving money. Also, teach your children how to save the money they receive from special occasions, such as birthdays and holidays.
  • Put the literacy in financial literacy. Encourage your children to read books that cover various money concepts. Not only will this help their reading comprehension, but they will be smart money managers, too. Check out the ABA’s reading recommendations here.

For more information on OVB’s financial education programs, contact Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com. In addition, visit https://www.ovbc.com/kids/centsables  to explore OVB’s superhero team, The Centsables. The Centsables website offers a variety of financial games and activities for children as well as information for parents.

 

 

Protect yourself from COVID-19 scams

The world continues to rapidly change as we learn more about the repercussions of the COVID-19 virus. Health and safety of our communities continues to be our top priority. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has also caused more cases of scam and fraud.

From phishing scams to fraudulent phone calls and fake charities, there are many ways criminals are working to get your personal and financial information. OVB BSA Officer Barb Patrick urges folks to be aware of all potential scams and to report any suspected fraud immediately.

“Report all fraud to the Federal Trade Commission (www.ftc.gov/complaint) and your local bank,” she said.

If you believe you are a victim of fraud involving COVID-19, additional outlets to report to include the National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via email at disaster@leo.gov. Cyber scam complaints may also be submitted through http://www.ic3.gov/default.aspx.

According to Patrick, people should be particularly aware of COVID-19 related phishing scams, which can come via email and text. Phishing emails, for example, may ask you to verify your personal information in order to receive an economic stimulus check from the government. While talk of economic stimulus checks has been in the media, government agencies are not sending unsolicited emails that seek your private information in order to send money. The emails might be designed to look like they are from the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Beware of emails that might even falsely claim a link to a list of COVID-19 cases in your area.

According to the FBI, phishing emails may claim to be related to charitable contributions; general financial relief; airline carrier refunds; fake cures and vaccines; and fake testing kits. Other emails might even come in the form of workplace policy. For example, some cyber criminals have targeted workplace email accounts, which could prompt you to click a link to a fake company policy thus prompting the download of malicious software. Therefore, it is important that companies and individuals have up-to-date virus protection software installed on their devices. Follow these recommendations to avoid falling victim to phishing emails:

  • Verify email address or link. Inspect links by hovering your computer mouse button over the URL to see where it leads. It might be obvious that the website is not legitimate. However, cyber criminals are more than capable of creating links that closely resemble legitimate sources. Delete the email immediately.
  • Be wary of online requests for personal information. For example, a COVID-19 email that prompts you to enter your Social Security Number or login information is a scam. Government agencies will not ask for this information. Do not respond to any emails with your personal data.
  • Avoid emails that insist on urgency. Many phishing emails are written to create a sense of urgency, which is a major red flag. These emails are designed to demand immediate action, with the goal being to get you to enter your personal information.
  • Check for grammar and spelling errors. If an email contains grammatical errors as well as misspelled words, chances are it is a phishing email.
  • Keep an eye out for generic greetings. Phishing emails are unlikely to use your name. Generic greetings, such as “Dear sir or madam” are likely not legitimate.

According to the United States Department of Justice, other COVID-19 scams to watch out for include the following:

  • Individuals and Businesses selling fake cures for COVID-19 online or engaging in other forms of fraud.
  • Malicious websites and apps that appear to share virus-related information that gain and lock access to your devices until payment is received.
  • Seeking donations fraudulently for illegitimate or non-existent charitable organizations.

To combat additional COVID-19 scams, the Federal Trade Commission encourages people to hang up on all robocalls. The FTC also says to ignore all online offers that advertise vaccinations and home test kits. Currently, there are no vaccines and/or pills available to treat COVID-19 in stores or online. In addition, there are no FDA-authorized home test kits available.

The importance of fact-checking information you encounter regarding COVID-19 is essential. Scammers and even your friends, who mean well, may share information about the virus that has not been verified. Visit www.cdc.gov and www.coronavirus.gov for valid COVID-19 information. Should you need additional guidance, contact your primary care physician.

By staying vigilant and aware of COVID-19 scams, we can work together to keep our communities and loved ones safe.

 

 

 

Area schools offer lunch deliveries

The world is certainly a different place than it was two weeks ago. The COVID-19 virus has caused many businesses to temporarily close. Ohio and West Virginia will be under a “stay at home” order effective Tuesday evening. These measures to keep our communities safe and healthy has also resulted in school closures for both Ohio and West Virginia.

While school closures are a necessary step to keep people safe and practice social distancing, it also has created some difficulties for parents and students. Many of our area students rely on school to not only provide an education, but also to give them a meal each day. Several of our area students are on free lunch programs. They rely on these programs. To make sure no student goes hungry, our area school districts have stepped up to the plate with lunch pick-ups and/or delivery programs.

School lunches are considered an essential service and will still be provided. We commend our local schools for stepping up to the plate and taking care of our kids. The following school districts are providing meals:

  • Gallipolis City Schools – Gallipolis City Schools will provide pick-up and/or delivery on Fridays. Each student will receive five days’ worth of meals. As of today, students were provided with enough food to get them through until this Friday. Pick-up and delivery times will take place from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Meals will be available for pick-up at Gallia Academy Middle School. For more information and to schedule delivery, call 740-446-3214 ext. 7.
  • Gallia County Local Schools – Delivery meals to students in the Gallia County Local School District is now available. Friday delivery will include five meals and a snack pack. To schedule delivery, call The Education Connection at 740-441-3052.
  • Meigs Local Schools – Meigs Local Schools will offer pick-up locations at Meigs Elementary and Meigs Middle School. The sites are set up as drive-thru service in the back of both buildings. Both locations will offer this service on Wednesdays from 10 a.m.-noon. Each family will receive five meals per child.
  • Jackson City School District – The Jackson City School District will provide pick-up meals only at the entrance of the district’s three elementary schools as well as the entrance at the Jackson Middle School gymnasium from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. For more information, call 740-286-6642.
  • Oak Hill Schools – Oak Hill Schools will offer meal delivery and pick-up meals Monday-Friday from 10 a.m.-noon. Delivery will take place on the normal bus routes. For more information, call the Oak Hill Board Office between the hours of 10 a.m.-noon at 740-682-7595.
  • Scioto Valley Local School District – The Scioto Valley Local District will distribute food for district families. Pick-up at Piketon High School and Jasper Elementary will be available as well from 10 a.m.-noon on Tuesdays and Fridays. To arrange services, please call 740-289-4117. Be sure to leave a message with your name, address, phone number, and number of children per household.
  • Mason County Schools – Mason County Schools have been offering meal delivery and pick-up at schools across the county. To check supply and for more information, call your child’s school.
  • Cabell County Schools – Cabell County Schools will continue to offer meal delivery for students. “Grab & Go” student meal sites are located across the county, which provide free bagged meals for any child 18 and under. The sites operate Monday-Friday of each week. Please call 304-528-5048 for more information.

If you do not see your child’s school district on this list, we urge you to contact their school/board office for additional information. From all of us at OVB, we thank all schools, teachers, and volunteers who are making this service possible for area children. Our best defense to combat this virus is to work together. By thinking Community First, we will get through this.

 

Focus on Community First

The world is a much different place today than it was a week ago. Even an hour ago. As this post is published, there could even be more changes. However, one thing that remains steadfast is Ohio Valley Bank’s commitment to their Community First mission.

OVB prides itself on being an independent, community bank. This is made possible thanks to the support of our local areas. As the world adjusts to a “new normal” in response to the COVID-19 virus, many lives and routines are changing as a result. Our communities have felt this affect as both schools in Ohio and West Virginia are closed. In Ohio, restaurants and bars are now limited to drive-thru/carryout options only. Movie theaters have shut their doors as well. While these measures are necessary as public health is the top priority, many businesses are going through a difficult time. Local businesses, especially, could face challenges due to closures and social distancing.

How can you help? In line with the Community First mission, try to shop locally whenever possible. Local grocery stores are still open and are a necessity as many folks find themselves “hunkering down” for the foreseeable future. What else can you do to help our local businesses?

  • Take advantage of carryout options at local restaurants. The food industry is struggling as they have been limited to drive-thru and carryout only. By ordering carryout, you achieve social distancing while also supporting the restaurant and their employees. Take it a step further by ordering several meals, which can be frozen and eaten later.
  • Purchase gift cards from your favorite local shops. Purchasing a gift card from your favorite local restaurant and store can directly help their business. As more businesses close entirely during this trying time, ask about online gift card options. The gift card purchases not only help businesses in the present but can also be used when the shops open back to full capacity in the future.
  • Shop online. If you aren’t sure if your favorite shop has an online option, give them a call to see about out-of-store purchase availability.
  • Donate supplies. Many businesses that are still open are trying their best to keep customers and staff safe by utilizing additional sanitizing procedures. However, essential items, including hand sanitizer, are becoming difficult to keep in stock. If you have sanitizer or cleaning products to spare, your donation would surely be appreciated.
  • Send a nice note. It might sound cheesy, but in uncertain times a simple act of kindness can go a long way. Letting your favorite shop know you care is a good way to boost morale. Optimism is needed now more than ever.

In addition to helping businesses, we can assist our communities by making sure local food pantries have plenty of items in stock. Consider donating non-perishable food items to your nearest food bank/pantry. Call for delivery instructions.

At OVB, the health and safety of our community and customers is our top priority. Starting Wednesday, March 18, several of our branches will be operating drive-thru only with extended hours for customer convenience. Existing customers may visit inside lobbies via appointment. For a full list of branch operating hours, visit https://www.ovbc.com/about/locations–hours.

We encourage our valued customers to take advantage of the following non-contact banking channels, including:

  • NetTeller Internet banking. Enroll at https://bit/ly/nettellerovb.
  • OVB Mobile App. Use the NetTeller link to enroll.
  • OVB Line telephone banking. Call 1-888-FONE-OVB (888-366-3682). Make sure to have both your social security number and account numbers ready.
  • Text Message Banking. Located inside NetTeller, click the “text banking” tab for instructions.
  • ATMs. OVB customers have the benefit of surcharge-free transactions at any Moneypass ATM in the nation. Other banks’ fees may apply.

At the end of the day, we are all in this together. By keeping the Community First mission in mind, we will prevail.

 

 

 

Celebrate the season with festive holiday events

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Our very own Tom Wiseman, OVB Chief Executive Officer, poses with Santa at the Mini Bank. Mr. Claus is set to visit several OVB branch locations next month.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Thanksgiving feasts are being prepped, Christmas trees are adorned with ornaments, and lights are twinkling. That can only mean one thing – it’s officially the holiday season!

As the holiday shopping really gets underway this week with Black Friday sales, we encourage you to think Community First and shop local. Be sure to check out our Holiday Gift Guide, which will be released Friday on the OVB Facebook page, for some great present ideas. Also, don’t forget that Small Business Saturday returns this week.

Along with shopping, there are many area festive events to help you get into the holiday spirit. Tonight, the Gallipolis In Lights will officially begin. The beautiful glowing lights transform the Gallipolis City Park into a winter wonderland. The ceremony to kick-off this year’s Gallipolis In Lights will take place from 5-8 p.m. Local acts will provide entertainment and fireworks are also scheduled. In addition, OVB will present a special surprise during the ceremony. Admission is free and the lights will sparkle through New Year’s.

Also this evening, The Our House museum in Gallipolis will host its annual holiday open house event. Doors open at 5 p.m. The open house is free and will feature refreshments along with a great chance to learn some local history.

In Point Pleasant, Krodel Park is already shining brightly with the annual Christmas Fantasy Light Show. This drive-through celebration features a wide-variety of animated light displays, including West Virginia’s very own Mothman legend. The lights open daily from 6-9 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are accepted. Also, in Point Pleasant is the annual Christmas Light Show at the West Virginia State Farm Museum. This event will run from Dec. 6-15.

Area Christmas parades will also get going this weekend. In Meigs County, the Middleport Christmas Parade is slated for this Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The parade will end at The Blakeslee Center, where Santa and the Grinch will be on hand to take photos with children and families. S’mores and hot chocolate will be provided. On Sunday. Dec. 1, The Pomeroy Christmas Parade will begin at 2 p.m. Cabell County will hold the Barboursville Christmas Parade 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 5. This year’s theme is “Ugly Christmas Sweater,” and parade line-up will begin at 5 p.m. at the bus barn, located behind Barboursville Middle School. In Mason County, the Christmas Parade and Tree Lighting is set for 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 6. The parade will take place on Main Street, while the tree lighting will follow at Gunn Park. The tree lighting will include performances from junior high and high school band members. On Saturday, Dec. 7 the Mason/New Haven Christmas Parade will kick-off at noon. In Gallia County, the Gallipolis Christmas Parade is set for Saturday, Dec. 7 from 1-2:30 p.m. Our very own OVB Christmas Express volunteers will once again participate in this year’s event.

Other festive area must-see events include the Second Annual Trees in the Park in Mason. The event begins this Saturday at the Stewart-Johnson V.F.W./Lottie Jenks Memorial Park. The public is invited to place either an artificial or live decorated tree at the park Saturday through Dec. 7. The trees will remain on display through Christmas. There is no fee to participate, and the trees may be placed in memory or in honor of a loved one or friend.

Check out The Christmas Show! concert Saturday, Dec. 7 at the Ariel Theatre in Gallipolis to help you get into the holiday spirit. The concert will run from 7:30-9:30 p.m. Last year’s show sold out, so contact the Ariel at 740-446-2787 for ticket information.

In Barboursville, check out the First Annual Christmas Bazaar/Craft event this Saturday. The event will take place at the Barboursville Community Center from 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Santa will also be in attendance to take pictures with children.

Other area festivities include Christmas on the Frontier at Point Pleasant’s Fort Randolph. The event will take place from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7. Historical reenactors will be on site to take you back in time for the holidays.

OVB also will host a variety of holiday-themed events at our branches, including the following:

  • Santa at the Mini Bank – On Friday, Dec. 6 Santa will be at our Mini Bank in Gallipolis from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.
  • Pictures with Santa – The jolly man in red will also make an appearance at our Bend Area Office on Tuesday, Dec. 10 from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Kids are welcome to bring their letters for Santa. Refreshments will be provided.
  • The Polar Express – On Saturday, Dec. 14 our Jackson Pike Office will host this special event from 9-11 a.m., which features breakfast with Santa and crafts.
  • Cookies and Cocoa with Mrs. Claus – On Saturday, Dec. 14 our Milton, W.Va. office will host Mrs. Claus as the guest of honor beginning at 11:45 a.m. In addition to festive treats, she will read the classic poem, The Night Before Christmas.

From all of us at OVB, Happy Holidays!

OVB celebrates Get Smart About Credit campaign

October might bring spooky frights with Halloween, but it’s also when the American Bankers Association celebrates its Get Smart About Credit campaign. While Oct. 17 was designated as Get Smart About Credit Day, OVB has celebrated the initiative all month with plans to continue doing so this fall and winter.

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OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush presents Adventures in Credit to area elementary school.

Get Smart About Credit is a national campaign comprised of bank volunteers who help youth understand credit and other important financial lessons. Now in its 17th year, this year’s event once again reached children across the country. According to the ABA, the primary purpose of Get Smart About Credit is to prepare students to join the workforce by making sure they have an understanding of credit and other money management skills.

OVB celebrated Get Smart About Credit Day at Point Pleasant High School on Oct. 17. The credit lesson was worked into the OVB BANKit program, which features interactive lessons on financial topics throughout the school year. OVB also presented credit focused lessons at River Valley High School. Additional credit presentations are scheduled to take place later this fall at area high schools in both Ohio and West Virginia.

Michelle Alderman, personal finance teacher at River Valley High School, emphasized the importance of teaching students how credit works.

“I think it is important for students to learn about credit early because for some in just a couple of years they will be out in the ‘real world’ making financial decisions for themselves,” Alderman said. “During the credit lessons covered by myself and through the OVB BANKit program, students learn that credit can be a positive and negative source in their lives. Students do not have any experience with credit at this point and these lessons illustrate how interest, time and monthly payments can affect the amount borrowed. We also discuss how credit can affect their ability to obtain employment and finance certain items they will need later in life. Credit is an important lesson and should be touched on as much as possible to prepare these students for borrowing for college, a home or automobile.”

In addition to OVB BANKit, credit lessons are incorporated into OVB’s other financial education programs, which include elementary grade levels. OVB plans to present Adventures in Credit, featuring the Centsables, at area elementary schools this fall and winter. The presentation includes an interactive lesson where students must help their superhero friends determine whether or not to use credit for the purchase of a new mega bike. As students learn the pros and cons of credit, they also get experience in calculating the cost of interest.

Get Smart About Credit teaches students that credit education is more than paying for college, credit cards and loans. The campaign aims to show that a true understanding of credit also encompasses budgeting, credit report comprehension and identity protection. By promoting these important lessons in area schools, OVB hopes to make an impact on our future community leaders.

Looking for ways to work in the Get Smart About Credit initiative at home with your family? We’ve got you covered with these helpful tips:

  1. Pay your bills on time. This sounds like a simple concept, right? However, too often people find themselves making late credit card payments. To make sure this doesn’t happen to you, set up alerts on your phone as a reminder to get those bills paid on time. If you are able, pay your bill in full. If not, at least make sure to pay the minimum when due.
  2. Watch for warning signs of credit trouble. If you find yourself using credit for all purchases or always making late payments and/or barely scraping by to afford your minimum amount due, you’re already in trouble. The best thing to do in this situation is pay what you can and avoid making any more purchases with your credit card. If you are feeling overwhelmed ask your bank if they have any suggestions to help you get back on track.
  3. Budget, budget, budget. Setting and sticking with a budget is the first step to financial freedom. By adhering to a spending plan and working to build your savings, you will be less likely to overspend on credit cards, which will also help you save on added fees, such as interest costs.
  4. Think before you spend. Often those who encounter credit issues make the common mistake of purchasing items via credit without truly thinking about what it is they are purchasing. Do not pay for things using credit without understanding how it may affect your budget first. Make sure that you will have the means to make payments on your purchase before you reach for the credit card.
  5. Take advantage of your annual free credit report. It is recommended to have your credit checked annually to review for any possible errors on inaccuracies. By doing this you also help protect yourself against the dangers of identity theft. Check your credit for free annually by going to annualcreditreport.com, the official site set up by law from the three national credit reporting agencies. Be sure to type in the address exactly as is since there are many “lookalike” sites, which can charge you for the report or a subscription fee as well as collect information from you for marketing purposes.
  6. Utilize your bank services. Banks are more than money in a vault. They offer valuable services that students can benefit from, including student checking accounts, debit cards, mobile and online banking, balance alerts, personal loans, direct deposit and more. OVB also offers Benjamin Tracker, a helpful tool to help you stick with your budget and not overspend. In addition, OVB also offers a variety of financial education programs.
  7. Ask questions. Whether you are a student looking for advice or an adult wanting to improve your financial circumstances, ask for help. Your local banker is a great place to start.

For more information on OVB’s financial education programs or to schedule a presentation, e-mail OVB Financial Literacy Leader Hope Roush at hdroush@ovbc.com.

 

 

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.

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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.