RCMP bank on kid smarts for pilot project

The RCMP and Scotiabank are partnering on a project that would see the Home Grown Cash initiative brought to a Port Alberni classroom.

Learning the value of saving money now may lead to a child not making poor choices with it later when they are a teen.

The RCMP and Scotiabank are sifting out the details of a pilot project that would see the Home Grown Cash initiative brought to a Port Alberni classroom before the end of June.

Aimed at students between Grade 5-6, the initiative provides simple facts and choices, Scotiabank manager Cherrie Williams said.

“We want to show students that they can spend money on choices like drugs or alcohol but that there are consequences like being hung over and broke,” Williams said. “Or, there can be rewards like having enough money saved for a laptop or concert tickets.”

The program would see students brought to the bank for a tour.

“Then we’d introduce them to the concept of saving money by using their allowance, paper route or job money,” Williams said. Putting just $10 a week away eventually adds up to a major purchase.”

RCMP Cpl. Dave Cusson, Drug and Organized Crime Awareness Service co-ordinator, found out about the program from a colleague on the Island.

“They had success with the program on Gabriola Island so I thought we could bring it to Port Alberni and try it on a larger scale,” Cusson said.

He and Williams are collaborating on the project.

The mild intervention puts out a positive message about what happens to money when poor choices are made.

“How quickly money goes when there’s drugs and alcohol involved,” Cusson said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com