Bank of Washington recently partnered with local grade schools to teach students about the importance of saving.

More than 500 local children explored saving, budgeting, prioritizing and more.

“This was a great opportunity for the children of our community to start developing the skills for financial success,” said Buzz Eckelkamp, executive vice president of Bank of Washington.

“We are grateful for the schools opening their doors and allowing us to contribute to their students’ learning,” he said.

Bank of Washington’s efforts to educate local students about making smart money decisions coincided with the ABA Education Foundation’s Teach Children to Save program.

Teach Children to Save is a national campaign of volunteer bankers who since 1997 have helped young people develop lifelong savings habits.

Bank of Washington also has a club designed exclusively for kids called Kids Go Green, designed to teach children to be smart savers, help the environment and give back to the community.

Bank of Washington offers the following tips for parents:

• Set the example of a responsible money manager by paying bills on time, being a conscientious spender and an active saver. Children tend to emulate their parents’ personal finance habits.

• Talk openly about money with your kids. Communicate your values and experiences with money. Encourage them to ask you questions, and be prepared to answer them — even the tough ones.

• Explain the difference between needs and wants, the value of saving and budgeting and the consequences of not doing so.

• Open a savings account for your children to take them with you to make deposits, so they can learn how to be hands-on in their money management.