The University of Hawai`i Federal Credit Union has found that partnering with three elementary schools has gone a long way in helping children understand the importance of saving money. The partnership with Kuhio Elementary, Ala Wai Elementary and Lunalilo Elementary Schools has resulted in over 200 new student accounts in less than two years.
According to UHFCU's AshLee Mahelona, manager of branch operations, the "Super Star Savings Account" program at the elementary schools has exceeded expectations.
"When we established the first new accounts at Kuhio Elementary School in 2008, there were 82 students participating. Today, Kuhio Elementary School has a total of 104 student accounts with assets of over $30,000, representing a growth of student assets by 770%," said Mahelona.
At Ala Wai Elementary School the Super Star Savings Account started in October 2009 with 78 accounts and now has over $8,000 in assets. Lunalilo Elementary School, which also started in October 2009, boast more than 100 savings accounts with asset growth over 150% .
The Super Star Savings Account program began in 2008 with Professor Michael Cheang of the University of Hawai`i School of Family & Consumer Science and Kuhio Elementary School. Cheang was allotted a grant from the Hawai`i Community Foundation to fund a pilot program that gave $25 to each participating child to open a savings account. These students could watch their money grow by contributing additional earned funds. Cheang has tracked the saving habits of these students, and the results have been positive. Similar grants continued for participating students at Ala Wai and Lunalilo Elementary Schools, allowing the opportunity to open an account with $25.