Franklin Sherman Elementary School is a public, neighborhood school located in McLean, Virginia just outside of downtown Washington, DC. It opened its doors on October 19, 1914 as Fairfax County’s first public school, serving children in primary and secondary grades in a six-room schoolhouse. Named after Captain Franklin Sherman, the inceptor of the public school notion in the McLean area, the school was the first school in the Commonwealth of Virginia to use a bus to transport children. Franklin Sherman Elementary was also the first site for public inoculations of the polio vaccine, and over 4,000 children received the vaccine when it was first introduced in the 1950’s.
Faculty and staff members strive to provide a positive and stimulating environment for learning. In 2008, Franklin Sherman and Chain Bridge Bank teamed up in an effort to spread financial literacy into the classrooms. Students make deposits during their lunch hour, but only make withdrawals at Chain Bridge Bank when accompanied by a parent or guardian. To date, the bank is in its third year of operation!
The bank is staffed by 18 students from 4th-6th grade. 8 students work on a revolving schedule as tellers. These in-school bank employees are overseen by employees of Chain Bridge Bank and PTA volunteers. All bank staff are responsible for accurately counting deposits, and providing prompt and efficient service. They provide a stamped receipt to each student depositor and assist in completing deposit tickets when necessary. Each teller has learned how to accurately maintain a cash drawer and settle the drawer by matching the contents against deposit slips. Further, they have worked together to solve problems, and coach and train existing and new staff.
A marketing staff of 10 students promotes the bank via posters, morning audio and visual announcements, and in-class presentations. The marketing staff is responsible for all advertising of the in-school bank, and work together in teams to develop advertising ideas. They are able to use their creativity and communication skills to promote the bank and encourage their fellow classmates to open accounts and save their money. Marketing specialists also communicate all bank services and special promotions to their fellow student depositors.
Several Chain Bridge Bank personnel are present in the school whenever the bank is open. In addition, numerous executives from the bank participate annually in Teach Children to Save Day, conducting in-class presentations to educate the students on financial literacy and the importance of saving.
To further link the experience to the real world, Chain Bridge Bank and the Franklin Sherman PTA have organized series of field trips to teach the students about the cycle of money. Last year the entire school was able to take a tour of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing to see where money is made. The field trips will continue this year to a locally-owned, entrepreneurial business to see how money is earned. Finally, the series will conclude with a trip and tour of Chain Bridge Bank to see where money is saved.
The Franklin Sherman In-School Bank has been successful due to the enthusiastic help of the students. They have increased their knowledge of lessons currently taught in the classroom, such as needs vs. wants, opportunity cost and risk and reward. In addition, they are improving their arithmetic knowledge and skills, including concepts such as compound interest. In summary, the in-school bank has been a productive partnership between the faculty and staff of the school, the PTA, the students and the bank.