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Red Oak GEAR UP students learn about checking and savings accounts

4/22/2014

WILBURTON, OK (April 22, 2014) – Checking and savings accounts are basic banking tools. Yet many young people do not know how they can affect their daily lives. Shirley Russell, vice president and bank manager for the Red Oak Branch of Farmers State Bank of Quinton, and Micha Chitwood, bank teller, recently met with Red Oak 8th and 9th grade GEAR UP students to explain the importance of using these tools wisely.

Students learned that checking accounts and payments are part of their everyday lives. Savings accounts keep their money safe while allowing them to earn a little bit more than checking accounts.

The bank representatives explained the importance of keeping a check register as the personal record of your checking account. They said it’s a good idea to use your check register as a backup system even if you trust the bank and students can use the paper check registers that come with checks, or an electronic system.

Students received blank (voided) checks and Russell and Chitwood explained the different parts of a check and instructed students where to place the necessary information and how to avoid the possibility of someone to fraudulently add information to their checks.

The representatives advised students to sign their checks legibly, and use the same signature that they have on file at the bank. In addition, they suggested making a record of every check in a check register.

As students were dismissed, they received individual plastic banks for their change.

“The ladies were great,” said GEAR UP Coordinator Melissa Juarez. “The students were attentive and received important information.”

Russell and Chitwood spoke to the students as part of a partnership with the GEAR UP program at Eastern Oklahoma State College. Juarez has been teaching financial literacy to the students this year.

In 2011, Eastern received a seven–year, $12.6 million federal GEAR UP grant and is in its third year of implementation.


Shirley Russell, vice president and bank manager for the Red Oak Branch of Farmers State Bank of Quinton, visits with Red Oak 8th and 9th grade students about checking and savings accounts while bank teller Micha Chitwood looks on.

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