Aroostook County elementary second grade classrooms were invited last fall to take an educational tour of NorState Federal Credit Union branches and learn the ins and outs of operations at a credit union and how to save money.

After the tours, each student received a gym bag and a classroom savings bank. NorState FCU put out a challenge to each classroom teacher and their students to save their spare change throughout the winter to raise money for Special Olympics of Maine. Leading up to Youth Month in April, some of the teachers asked NorState for financial literacy visits so students would better learn the importance of saving, spending and sharing.

Wrapping up April's Youth Month which had as its theme "The Future is Yours, Picture it, Save for it, Share it," Each classroom was revisited by a NorState representative who gave a "mini" lesson on financial literacy and presented each student with a bank to take home. The banks had separate compartments labeled "Save, " "Spend" and "Give." The banks were given with the hopes the students would continue their money saving habits, how to spend responsibly and also to be charitable.

All of the second graders pooled their savings from the classroom and donated them to Special Olympics. The students collected just over $350 and NorState matched a portion of the promised savings for a total of $600 being donated to Special Olympics.