New south side bank teaching kids about finances

A newly built bank on Milwaukee's south side isn't just managing accounts, it's also helping children learn about money.

North Shore Bank held a grand opening ceremony for its new Jackson Park branch on Tuesday, that has a unique children's area with money-themed activities.

During the ceremony, second graders from St. Anthony School were able to try out the activities and even received a piggy bank to take home. The bank is also putting $25 into a savings account for each child.

The bank partnered with Betty Brinn Children's Museum to design the activities that promote critical thinking, math and problem solving skills.

"We want them to be savvy," said North Shore Bank Area Manager Alfredo Martin.

He says the newly built branch aims to help the emerging Latino community in the neighborhood by teaching the kids and their parents.

"In the Latino community, a lot of families haven’t been exposed to the banking terms, being able to be knowledgeable about how to do a banking transaction," he said. "It’s important for banks, financial institutions to get involved with the literacy seminars and workshops to provide them a better understanding of the financial world."

All of the employees at the new branch are bilingual and the branch will also offer financial seminars on topics like how to buy a house and save for the future.

And all of those lessons can start as early as second grade.

"I love the children’s area because I think if young people are introduced to financial institutions and learn how they work and learn how they can be helpful to them, I think it can serve them their entire life," said Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, who attended Tuesday's ceremony.

North Shore Bank has been present in the Jackson Park neighborhood since 1925. The newly built branch at 4230 W. Oklahoma Ave. replaces the bank's previous Jackson Park office.

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