The Revere Municipal Credit Union (RMCU) has gone back to high school.
In the most literal sense, the Credit Union has opened up a branch in the high school to promote financial literacy and access for high school students and their parents, and to teach young people practical financial skills.
John Kingston of the RMCU said they began operating at Revere High School (RHS) in August, but have recently moved into a dedicated space and are offering one intern from RHS to help staff the location.
The new location is in addition to their main location in the ground floor of Revere City Hall.
“Financial literacy is a huge new area of teaching for high schools across the country,” Kingston said. “The high school got a grant to do a financial literacy program. It was on the radar already, and Dr. Paul Dakin and Dr. Lourenco Garcia wanted to locate a branch here as well. They made an offer and we accepted it. It has worked out really well so far and the Credit Union will be able to be more accessible to more residents of Revere.”
The RMCU has altered its charter in order to include high school students, middle school students and their parents as eligible members for the Credit Union. Already, municipal and school employees are eligible to join.
By adding the school kids and their parents, Kingston said that gives the RMCU exposure to 3,000 students and their families.
“That means about 20 percent of the population of the city could join the Credit Union now,” he said.
There has also been a RMCU ATM added to the school, located in the hallway by the library.
Meanwhile, Kingston also brings an educational element to the new venture.
A new elective class at the high school deals with financial literacy, and Kingston is part of the curriculum.
“I go to the elective classes and talk about banking basics – how to write a check or the difference between a debit and credit card,” he said.
This quarter, Kayle Pezzuto is the student intern at the branch. She said she has worked with several students to help them open accounts. Altogether, the venture has yielded about 100 student accounts at RHS. Pezzuto said she believes its very important information.
“I feel like some kids don’t understand it, but its very important certainly,” she said. “They might not understand certain aspects, like how only certain ATMs work for them and the others they have to pay to use. I find these are more common things we should know in high school, but maybe they’ve forgotten to teach us.”
Kingston said students will not lose their accounts when they graduate and, eventually, move on to college or to another city or town.
“When they leave, they keep the account,” he said. “Once a member, always a member.”