Weather Forecast

Click for Wauneta, Nebraska Forecast

Third grade concludes year-long money management lesson PDF Print E-mail
Written by Wauneta Breeze   
Thursday, 17 May 2012 21:06

Pioneer Community FCU sponsored a program where students could earn money and then decide to save, share, spend or give it to the school. Pictured with their certificates of completion are from back left: Helen “Frankie” Miller, Credit Union board member and Bronco Banker; Tonya Placzek, Credit Union Manager; Patty Anderjaska, Member Service Representative. From middle left: David Swartz, Maycee Wheeler, Devin Carl, Anthony Sramek, Destany Simpson, Halee Sandman, Isaiah Roe. Front row from left: Romeo Dirk, Kendra Bley, Halee Davis, Alicia Holmberg, Zoey Boos and RanDee Barger, third grade teacher.

By Sheri Hink

The Wauneta Breeze


Lessons in money management were a year-long affair for Wauneta-Palisade third graders. This year marked the first ever Pioneer Community Federal Credit Union Junior Booster Club. The booster club, sponsored by the credit union, offered third grade students the opportunity to earn real money and then make real decisions about what to do with that money.

“We thought we’d start at a certain age group to teach them to save. Third grade is a good age to start,” said Tonya Placzek, Pioneer Community Federal Credit Union manager.

Throughout the school year third grade teacher RanDee Barger would give each student a mark to indicate how they behaved during the week. Those who received a green mark earned $0.25 from the credit union. Each student had the potential of earning $9 throughout the year.

Each month Helen “Frankie” Miller, a member of the board of directors for the credit union and known to the class as their “Bronco Banker,” would go into the classroom and offer the students four ways to use the money they had earned that month.

First, students could save their money. If they chose this option, the credit union held onto their earnings until the end of the school year. Those who saved some or all of their money were given an envelope with the cash on Monday.

Four students had an account with the credit union and two quickly deposited their money into their account.

One student took a savings account application home to his parents in hopes he could open an account soon. The Credit Union told students if they did not earn quite enough to make the $5 minimum to open an account they would help them with the difference.

Many of the students had savings accounts elsewhere and plan to deposit their money in those accounts.

Second, students could chose to share all or part of their earnings for the month, sharing money will be used to purchase food for the food pantry. Monday, the credit union presented Barger with an envelope containing the cash class members had put toward sharing. The class made a quick trip to Allen’s Grocery Store Monday so they could begin to think about what types of food they want to buy to donate to the food pantry.

Third, students could spend the money they earned each month. When Miller would go to the classroom each month she took a bag of trinkets with her, ranging in price from $0.25 to $1. Students who chose to spend their money could do.

Lastly, Junior Booster Club members were given the option of giving the money they earned to the school. The credit union gave Barger an envelope containing the money the class had saved for school needs. This amount is equal to the total designations to the school by club members. The money will be used to purchase something for the classroom.

Student’s decisions on how to spend their money evolved throughout the year.

“Some of them divided it equally between the four different categories, while others spent it all on items from our Bronco Banker’s (Frankie Miller) basket of goodies and others put their’s into savings, school and sharing. As the year went on, we (strongly) guided the spenders to save some of their money,” explained Barger.

She went on to say, “We would like to thank the Pioneer Community FCU for being so generous to our third grade students. This lesson has been very beneficial to the students to help them learn about the four S’s: saving, sharing, school, and spending. We hope that what they learned through this lesson, will carry on through their years in school, college and adulthood.”


About the Pioneer Community FCU

Pioneer Community Federal Credit Union was started 10 years ago. It serves those who live, work, worship, go to school, or own land in Hayes or Hitchcock counties or who have a relative that does. Their motto is “Not for profit, not for charity, but for service.”


Series on local service organizations and clubs

This story is part of an ongoing series highlighting service organizations and community clubs in the Wauneta area. The purpose of the series is to inform the public of what local organizations are doing for the community and how they can help.

At the end of the series, Breeze readers will be asked to vote for their favorite organization or club. The organization or club receiving the most votes will be given a $50 donation to use towards the project of its choice.

Organizations and community clubs interested in being featured in the series should contact the Breeze at 308-394-5389 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .