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Learning how to divide fractions or the history of the Civil War are important lessons to the students of Pike County schools.
The Kids In Motion summer program allows some of them to take education a step further to the practical level about work and serving the community.
Last week, the county Kids In Motion students learned how to handle the money they are earning at the Bank of Louisiana and the Community State Bank in Bowling Green with hands-on instruction from bank officials.
The 12-to 15-year-old students were taught how to budget, investing money and how to balance a checkbook, among other practical financial practices.
The reason for the financial instruction parlayed with the Kids In Motion overall summer program. During its duration, the students are paid for doing community projects, which they put into one of the two banks.
This summer, the Kids In Motion Louisiana coordinator is Amelia Wallace, a 2011 Louisiana High School graduate and currently a student at William Woods University in Fulton.
Wallace handles two different groups of students, both of which meet two days a week for the program. Wallace picks them up in the morning in a van donated by the First Baptist Church of Louisiana and takes them to the Louisiana Middle School for breakfast. They then go to a job site and are returned home around noon.
Last week “we pulled weeds and mulched along the trail behind the YMCA over to Wallace Park,” Wallace said. It’s just one of several projects the students will do this summer for Louisiana-area churches, organizations and facilities.
“It’s their first job, so they are learning a good work ethic,” Wallace said. “It’s up to them to get up in the morning and be ready to do a good job.
“They put their paychecks in the banks and learn how to manage their money so they know what it’s like when they get a real job.
“They learn you don’t always do a job you like but have to show up every day with a positive attitude and do the best you can.
“They also learn values they can apply later in life like being cooperative with others and being responsible.”
Jacob Wright, of Louisiana, is just one Kids In Motion participant who is learning from the program.
“I enjoy helping people and earning money while I’m doing it,” he said.
“We’re learning new stuff and we’re helping the community,” said fellow participant Mackenzie Hager, of Louisiana.
Kids in Motion started in Pike County in 2008, thanks to the hard work of Judy Trost of Louisiana, according to regional program director Amy Vaughn.
Vaughn coordinates the northeast Missouri Kids In Motion program from her Douglass Community Services office in Hannibal.
“We don’t apply for any government funding,” Vaughn said last week. “We rely on private foundations, individual donations and fund-raising efforts.
Louisiana area organizations who donate to Kids In Motion include the Trimble Foundation, the Lay Foundation and the Buffalo Township United Fund.
“There are also individuals who write us checks too,” Vaughn said. “It’s totally a community-based and driven program.”
Last week’s bank program is what Kids in Motion is all about, Vaughn added.
“This is such a great opportunity for our kids. So many adults (myself included) did not receive financial training like this during our early years, and have sometimes had to learn money management lessons the hard way in life.
“The Bank of Louisiana and Community State Bank have made an impression on these kids, and hopefully they will apply some of the lessons that they have learned to create a brighter future for themselves.”
To learn more about Kids In Motion or to donate, contact Vaughn at 573-221-3892, extension 246.