Fourth grade students at Sacred Heart are no strangers to the operations of a business. As the oldest
students of the Mater Campus, they are responsible for the daily management of the Snack Bar and for selecting a nonprofit at the end of the year to support with their earnings. Due to the changes of foot traffic around campus this year and different packaging requirements, our 4th grade has adapted the model of their snack bar, which usually operated from a central location in the Mater Campus gym, into a Snack Bar on Wheels which travels to each classroom to offer snacks to students. With an uptick in revenue this year, the class welcomed the opportunity to talk to the financial experts at Hancock Whitney about the mechanics of running a profitable business and personal banking.
As part of its ongoing contribution to the financial literacy curriculum at Sacred Heart, Hancock Whitney organized a financial literacy fair as a fun and age-appropriate way to address key banking topics with the 4th grade class. Three class pods rotated between interactive stations focused on Earning a Profit, Writing Checks and Depositing Money. Within each station, a Hancock Whitney representative provided an overview of fundamental concepts and then answered some common and not-so-common questions from the students.
In her Earning a Profit station, Hancock Whitney Vice President Lindsey Wands reviewed the formula for net revenue, prompted the students to explain the revenue of their Snack Bar operation, and then reviewed hypothetical business plans with varying degrees of financial success. Through this exercise, the students gained an appreciation for distinguishing fun ideas from profitable business plans and talked about how various changes to their Snack Bar may have different results on their net revenue.
In the Check Writing station, Hancock Whitney Senior Vice President Liz Hefler explained the key steps of writing a physical check, pointing out some commonly made errors observed in the bank setting. Students received mock checks of their own and practiced writing them out, with the correct dates and matching dollar amounts, and then discussed various security precautions to keep in mind when they receive their first checkbook. Students at this station were fascinated to learn about the real-life adventures of bank tellers and enjoyed their first check-writing experience.
In the final Depositing station, Hancock Whitney Senior Vice President Len Aucoin led the students in filling out deposit slips for the checks from the previous station. Leave it to 4th grade to make this seemingly mundane task an exercise in creativity: each group was unexplainably entertained by picking the seven digits to serve as their hypothetical account number! Len also explained a few common mistakes that people make in filling out deposit slips, such as using nicknames on checks or simple addition errors.
With these preparations and practical exercises, our 4th grade entrepreneurs are well on their way to expanding their business plan for the future. Watch out, Middle School – these ladies mean business!