Comerica Youth Savings program kicks off at Dicken

Four Dicken students volunteered to be "bankers" during Comerica-supervised banking days.
Four Dicken students volunteered to be “bankers” during Comerica-supervised banking days. Adults, left to right: Nikolas Thompson, banking center manager; Vanessa Kast, assistant manager at the Grass Lake office; Loretta Smith, vice president of community reinvestment; teacher Kristina Rossi; Denene Smith, vice president of retail banking and Dicken Principal Mike Madison.

By Tara Cavanaugh

It’s never too early to start building your wealth.

That’s the idea of Comerica’s Youth Savings Program, which begins at Dicken Elementary this fall. The program provides lessons in personal finance for all grades and also gives students real-life banking experience right in their own school.

Once a month for the entire school year, Comerica staff supervise a “bank” at Dicken. Students volunteer to be “bankers,” taking care of their fellow students’ deposits that end up in real Comerica savings accounts.

During the same day, Comerica staff give lessons in personal finance that are tailored to different grade levels.

“This is a starting point,” said Loretta Smith, Comerica’s vice president of community reinvestment for the Michigan market. “The children learn how to budget, how to save what they budget and how to look at what they spend each day.”

Dicken is one of ten schools in Michigan that get to be a part of the Comerica program, which teaches students about personal finance. The program’s main purposes are to encourage students to learn the value of savings and how basic math applies to the real world.

“We’re excited about our Youth Savings Program,” said Smith. “It just does so much for the students. They get excited about banking and they get excited about what they can do with the money that they save.”

Comerica staff also host a weekly chess club at Dicken in the winter months and participate in math and reading tutoring programs organized by the AAPS Partners for Excellence office. To learn more about Comerica, go to

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