With a mere initial investment of 25 cents, six preschool students at Willard Patton Preschool now have savings of more than $85 after being introduced to the Bahamas Central Securities Depository (BCSD) financial literacy program, BCSD Smart Savers, for preschoolers and primary school students.
The program, which teaches the importance of saving, was launched on January 17 to over 100 preschool students in K-3 and K-4 at Willard Patton Preschool by BCSD staff. The team exposed the students to different denominations of Bahamian currency and illustrated the importance of saving. Each child received a piggy bank and an initial 25 cents to start their savings.
While all of the students now have savings, the top six students — Virkell Dean, Wendy Ferguson and Dakari Coakley from K-4; as well as Bruce Colebrooke, Ashley Johnson and Mekhi Newbold from K-3 — were awarded with the BCSD Top Smart Saver Awards.
In conjunction with the Office of the Prime Minister and the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology’s launch of the Over-the-Hill Rejuvenation Project and their presentation of e-learning tools, BCSD also donated 30 tablets to the preschool.
The BCSD team also visited E.P. Roberts Primary School, where it introduced the Smart Saver Program to Tonya Storr-Belle’s fourth grade class, who all learned about saving and its importance. The students were encouraged to dream big and be smart savers.
In George Town, Exuma, BCSD partnered with Kiwanis Bahamas Sunshine Division 22 and hosted a financial literacy fair attended by over 60 students and their parents from across the island, where they heard the story of “Sam, the Smart Saver”, written by Sanchia Rolle of BCSD.
Nerika Burrows, BCSD president, said the Smart Saver Program is an important initiative.
“As we continue to create Smart Savers, it is our hope that all Bahamians, particularly the youth of our country, learn the importance of saving and investing,” said Burrows.
In an effort to create smart savers and investors across The Bahamas, the BCSD team has taken its education initiative to the Kiwanis Club of Fort Montagu, playing financial jeopardy with the members at one of the club’s weekly meetings. The lively, interactive game gave club members pointers about stocks and bonds and further insight into the capital market of The Bahamas.