Pennywise Vineyard students reap savings rewards
Thriftiness paid off in more than interest recently for Island students Benjamin Davey and Jack Sayre. Both won prizes in a Super Saver 2009 contest as regular depositors in their school saving accounts through the Save For America (SFA) program, sponsored locally by Martha's Vineyard Savings Bank (MVSB).
The two students' names were drawn from a pool of 3,532 who qualified as "super savers" in grades K-8 at participating schools in 28 states.
Benjamin, a fifth-grader at Tisbury School, was chosen as the grand prizewinner and will receive a $250 gift certificate redeemable at Amazon.com.
In addition to the grand prize, two runners-up in the contest from New Hampshire and Texas will receive $50 gift certificates.
Six super savers, including Jack, a fourth-grader at Oak Bluffs School, two other students from Massachusetts, and three from Connecticut, Oklahoma, and Texas, will each receive a $25 gift certificate.
In a ceremony last Friday morning in the Tisbury School library, Benjamin received a certificate of recognition from MVSB executive vice president and chief operating officer Richard Leonard and executive assistant and school savings coordinator Patti Leighton.
"We do the school savings program in all the schools on Martha's Vineyard, but the Tisbury School has the most consistent, steady super savings program going," Mr. Leonard told Benjamin. "And you and all of your other fellow students here in Tisbury and on the Vineyard that got entered into this, it's amazing. One person in the country gets this award, and that is you - congratulations."
Benjamin's eight-year-old brother Jason, a second-grader at Tisbury School, attended the ceremony along with his parents, Allan and Anne Davey, who teaches kindergarten at Oak Bluffs School.
In an interview beforehand, Benjamin said he knew nothing about the contest until Esther Teves, school banking parent coordinator, came into his band class on April 10 to tell him he won.
"It was like being hit by lightning," Benjamin recalled.
He estimated he saved about $600 since starting the program in kindergarten, adding a few dollars every week from allowance money for doing some chores at home, along with contributions from his parents.