PNC Bank has teamed up with Indianapolis Public Schools to launch the PNC School Bank program at William McKinley School 39. The initiative is a partnership between PNC and local schools that allows students to open real savings accounts while providing them with hands-on experience with the banking system.

The program was created to teach elementary and middle school students positive financial habits beginning with on-site educational workshops facilitated by PNC staff.

William McKinley is the first school in Indianapolis to roll out the program. The PNC School Bank will be available to students in pre-K to sixth grade, through the end of the 2018 school year. The IPS school system includes over 30,000 students and is the largest public school district in Indiana. 

“Our partnership with PNC creates a supplemental educational opportunity for students and their families,” said Stacy Coleman, principal of William McKinley. “This hands-on program introduces our students, many for the first time, to basic concepts in money management, savings accounts and earned interest.”

The program allows each student to open a free minor savings account, with parental permission. Students are trained to become tellers and accept deposits in the form of small cash and checks on regularly scheduled “school bank days.” School staff deliver the deposits to a participating PNC branch, where they are deposited into the students’ accounts.

“Financial education is one of the most important foundations a child can have,” said Pat Gamble-Moore, PNC community development banking market manager for Indiana. “Our program teaches children practical applications of managing money, which can have an extraordinary impact on their lives while fostering long-lasting success for our communities.”

PNC first launched School Bank in Indiana last December in Anderson at Eastside Elementary School. As part of the initiative, PNC plans to host several on-site financial education classes for parents designed to offer real-world guidance on money management.

“This program allows our teams to create convenient learning opportunities that help students and their families adopt practical and effective approaches to the way they budget, spend and save,” said Gamble-Moore.

PNC launched the PNC School Bank Program in 2008 in schools serving low-to-moderate income families, with the goal of bringing economic empowerment and financial self-reliance to those communities. The initiative has made a positive impact, particularly in classrooms where financial literacy isn’t part of the curriculum. PNC currently works with 95 schools to serve over 2,000 elementary and middle school students in cities across its corporate footprint.