A penny saved is $5,000 earned for 9-year-old contest winner

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The Philadelphia Daily News (Pennsylvania)
By: Jan Ransom
October 22, 2010

When 9-year-old Jack Leach walked into a TD Bank in Northeast Philadelphia yesterday with his mother and father, he couldn't understand why there was a mob of folks standing there, smiling at him.

And once they began to clap and shout, he was even more perplexed.

Jack was surprised with a $5,000 scholarship from TD Bank for submitting the winning video for the Penny Arcade "What does savings mean to you?" 10th Anniversary Celebration contest, marking 10 years since the introduction of the bank's coin-counting machine.

During the summer, TD Bank launched a contest in which it invited children ages 6 to 12 to explain on video what saving meant to them and to teach others the importance of saving.

Jack, who said he's already saved $200 for college, received the top prize out of 300 contestants from Maine to Florida. Ten regional finalists were awarded a $100 TD Bank gift card.

"It's important to save so when you get older, you can do your dreams and what you want to do in life," Jack said.

Jack aspires to be an artist, and said he hopes to study art in college. In his video, he said he has already saved money for college - now he just needs money to buy "a cool car to get to college."

A survey conducted by TD Bank showed that consumers with good financial literacy started learning about money earlier than the average consumer. Only half of consumers began learning about money under age 18, according to the survey.

Jennifer Leach, 34, began teaching her son the importance of saving when he was 5 and she started giving him an allowance.

"He gets to spend some and he has to save some," Jennifer said.

Jack's mother and father attended trade school, and now they have to pay off student loans. Their goal was to teach Jack early on that he should begin saving for his college education now.

"I just got a bunch of those little piggy banks, and I put coins in there," said Jack, who is a fourth-grader at A.L. Fitzpatrick Elementary School and a second-year Cub Scout.

The young saver also has a big heart.

Jack donates his saved change to the Pennies for Patients program, which supports leukemia research.

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This page contains a single entry by CFED published on October 25, 2010 3:52 PM.

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