It’s never too early to teach kids about the importance of saving. Teaching students at a young age can help them have a secure financial future. That’s the goal of a national program targetting kids in kindergarten through eighth grade.

Second grader at Spring Creek Elementary School Cooper French says he’s saving up for a new pair of shoes he’s wanted for a long time.

“If you find money on the ground, save it up, put it in a piggy bank or like if you have a jar you can put it in and save it and you can buy things that you want next day or you can buy it in awhile, but just save up,” French said.

Local bankers want more kids like Cooper to understand the importance of saving. That’s why representatives from Northwest Bank visited several Rockford elementary schools talking to kids about getting into the habit of saving.

“We think it’s important to start that foundation for them at an early age, so they understand that it’s important to save money and let that money grow over time so when they’re older they have a huge foundation to start with their lives,” Kyra Jones, universal banker at Northwest Bank at Machesney park, said.

Students in second and fifth grades learned how to have a successful financial future. They were all given a fifty cent coin to start.

“We’re gonna start them on this path with this 50 cent coin and say ‘put this in your piggy bank and save it,’” Jones said. “Over time that money is going to grow and grow and grow and that fifty cents will turn into five dollars or fifty dollars.”

Second grader Lily Morris will add that fifty cents to her own piggy bank for a very important reason.

“So you can buy stuff that you need,” Morris said.

Nymirra Holmes does chores to earn money. She says she regularly adds to her savings.

“Put it in my piggy bank and store it for when I need some,” Holmes said.

Holmes says she’s proud of herself when she’s able make a purchase with her own money.

“It feels good,” Holmes said.

The program “Teach Children to Save” is sponsored by the American Bankers Association Foundation.