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PECS second-graders learn valuable library, money skills

Library07MOORE HAVEN — Pemayetv Emahakv Charter School second-graders learned education doesn’t only take place in classrooms. During an April 21 field trip to the Glades County Public Library and First Bank in Moore Haven, 25 students learned lessons they will use for the rest of their lives.

With 28,000 books, the library has something for everyone to read, said Mary Booher, director of the library. She explained the difference between fiction and nonfiction and taught students how to locate books in the library using a computer.

Booher shared her passion for books while reading from “Today I Feel Silly: And Other Moods That Make My Day” by Jamie Lee Curtis.

The book opens with: “Today I feel silly. Mom says it’s the heat. I put rouge on the cat and gloves on my feet. I ate noodles for breakfast and pancakes at night. I dressed like a star and was quite a sight.”

The kids laughed at the humor, including the various moods conveyed in rhyme.

“I want them to get a love of reading and know how important it is,” Booher said. “They have to read, even if it is just to fill out a job application or use the computer.”

Students learned that they must get a library card signed by a parent to take books, videos and DVDs on loan. The group toured a variety of sections, including children’s, adult fiction and nonfiction, young adult and western fiction. Booher brought out items from the history room, including a book about a Seminole Princess written in 1966, “When the Moon is New: A Seminole Indian Story” by Laura Bannon.

Like any library, the Glades County library has rules. No running and no shouting top the list. But unlike days gone by, silence isn’t demanded of patrons.

“This isn’t a shushing library,” Booher told the students. “You can talk, but don’t yell and you must be polite.”

Booher invited the children to take advantage of the library’s summer program, whose activities include game and movie days.

“I liked the library because you get to learn about stuff,” said Candice Melton, 7. “I really like books about sharks.”

Jaydence Urbina, 8, said he likes books, and that “Hey, Little Ant” by Phillip and Hannah Hoose is the best one he ever read. During the field trip he learned the difference between fiction and nonfiction, which he called “fake” and “real.”

After the library visit, it was off to First Bank for a lesson in money management tailored for second-graders. Students previously had studied money in class, so teachers wanted to give them firsthand knowledge about banking.

Mali Gardner, First Bank vice president, began by asking if anyone had ever heard the saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” Gardner said the phrase should remind them all to save money for the future.

Gardner taught students about the power of saving and urged them to always pay themselves first. Whenever they earn money, she said they should put some away before spending it all, which led to a discussion about compound interest and how money, when saved in banks, can grow.

“We pay you to save your money with us,” Gardner said. “We want you to be smart savers and prepare for the future.”

The students also learned how to fill out deposit slips, use ATMs and debit cards, and write checks.

But a tour of a bank wouldn’t be complete without seeing the inside of the vault. There, the students toured the safe deposit boxes and the safes where the bank stores its cash.

“Seeing the safe was the best,” said Carlee Osceola, 8.

The lesson of saving wasn’t lost in the excitement of the tour.

“They taught you have to save money, which is important so you’ll have more for the future,” said Willo James, 8. “I put money in my piggy bank but not all the time. It’s good to save so you can buy stuff.”

Teachers stressed to their students the importance of reading and saving money in their everyday lives.

“Even though they are kids, it’s still important for them,” teacher Lisa Clements said. “Now we can go back [to class] and talk about it. This gives us good follow up to do with them.”

The teachers also wanted to show students what each nearby community offers during the summer.

Their next field trip will be to the library in Okeechobee.

“The libraries have summer activities and programs,” said teacher Cindy Ringstaff. “I encourage parents to get their children there so they can stay on top of their reading.”


Beverly Bidney
Beverly Bidney has been a reporter and photographer for The Seminole Tribune since 2012. During her career, she has worked at various newspapers around the country including the Muskogee Phoenix in Oklahoma, Miami Herald, Associated Press, USA Today and other publications nationwide. A NAJA award winning journalist, she has covered just about everything over the years and is an advocate for a strong press. Contact her at