Irving Wilson students experience the world of banking

Students from the Irving Wilson School received a valuable life example recently when they visited the Warrens branch of CIBC FirstCaribbean International Bank.

The excited youngsters, ranging in age from 13 to 18, enjoyed the chance to apply their lessons taught at school by learning how to open a bank account, using Automated Banking Machines (ABMs) as well as the coin machines, in addition to identifying distinguishing marks on money.

Student, Kimberly Persaud uses the branch's coin counter under the watchful eye of Branch Ambassador, Kris Rollins (left) and teacher, Merlene Bourne.

Student, Kimberly Persaud uses the branch’s coin counter under the watchful eye of Branch Ambassador, Kris Rollins (left) and teacher, Merlene Bourne.

Guidance counsellor at the school, Jennifer Goodridge, said it was important for the students to make a connection between what they they were taught in their Health and Family Life classes and real life. “We want the children to have a sense of banking and things such as budgeting and saving. These are life skills we want to expose them to so that they see there’s nothing to be afraid of,” she said.

Ms. Goodridge added the response from students was “very good”. “They enjoyed it and learnt a lot. I think it will have a positive impact on them because they’ll be better able to use the bank’s services with more confidence. This is important for special needs children because they need to realise that in the real world they have to interact and get involved in activities which are a way of life,” she explained.

Irving Wilson School students along with their teacher, Kenneth Kinch (fourth from right) get a hands-on money lesson from Customer Service Officer, Lasonta Payne while Warrens Branch Manager, Richard Kennedy and Customer Service Representative, Decino Corbin (right) look on.

Irving Wilson School students along with their teacher, Kenneth Kinch (fourth from right) get a hands-on money lesson from Customer Service Officer, Lasonta Payne while Warrens Branch Manager, Richard Kennedy and Customer Service Representative, Decino Corbin (right) look on.

The guidance counsellor said that the school highly appreciated the bank facilitating the tour. “The staff were very patient and great in explaining and showing the children what they needed to know.” Ms. Goodridge, who would like CIBC FirstCaribbean to partner with Irving Wilson, added that several students were working at Massy Stores while the female students were taking an aesthetics course at the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic. “Our students can function well and fully in society once given the opportunity.”

Customer Service Representative, Dabian Forde (left) gives excited students and teacher, Merlene Bourne (right) a demonstration of the services available at the Warrens branch as manager, Richard Kennedy observes.

Customer Service Representative, Dabian Forde (left) gives excited students and teacher, Merlene Bourne (right) a demonstration of the services available at the Warrens branch as manager, Richard Kennedy observes.

Branch manager at Warrens, Richard Kennedy said the bank was happy to facilitate the students. “Our staff really enjoyed interacting with the students and their teachers, so the experience was a mutually rewarding one.

The Irving Wilson School provides education to children with three different types of physical challenges – deaf and hearing impaired, blind and visually impaired, plus children with autism.

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