Simsbury Bank again sponsored Hartford Stage’s Financial Literacy Program that is part of the Stage’s “Connections” residency with Bloomfield’s Carmen Arace Intermediate School’s 5th grade classes. The culmination of the residency is a series of learning activities during the week of June 3rd.

“Simsbury Bank is honored to work with the Hartford Stage to deliver this unique method of imparting financial literacy to relatively young students.  The program in Bloomfield is a creative and innovative way to engage the children’s senses through theatrical techniques on what is complicated material.  It is one of the many ways that together we can help improve the financial literacy of our communities,” said Martin J. Geitz, President and CEO of Simsbury Bank.

“This program draws students into learning about financial concepts by inviting them to connect to characters in a story. This entry point gives students an opportunity to engage their emotions, which makes the content feel more personal. Students can put themselves into a character’s shoes and consider what they would do in that situation,” said Jennifer Roberts, Director of Education, Hartford Stage.

Carmen Arace Intermediate School Principal Sarah Williams said, “We are thrilled for Simsbury Bank’s underwriting again which allows us to present and involve our students in this very exciting program that combines theater instruction with financial literacy information.  The students become very engaged in the story and learn about financial concepts as part of the fun.”

Hartford Stage’s financial literacy curriculum is part of the Connections program, a pre-reading residency, designed to pique students’ interest in a book and is offered to schools with various source materials appropriate to specific grade levels. For five consecutive days, a Hartford Stage teaching artist visits a classroom to lead drama activities based on a book. The curriculum follows the arc of the story and is built on suspense; students are left wondering what happens next. Pieces of the text from the book are woven throughout the week, revealing small pieces of the narrative. Throughout the five days, students explore the context, plot and characters of the book, building prior knowledge, creating suspense, and encouraging empathy.  At the end of the program, each student receives a copy of the book to read and keep.

This year, students at Carmen Arace explored the book Rich: A Dyamonde Daniel Book by Nikki Grimes, which links to age-appropriate financial concepts such as earning, saving and spending money, wants vs. needs, budgeting and the value of money and possessions.

Now in its 55th season, Hartford Stage’s mission is to enlighten, entertain, and educate by creating theatrical works of the highest caliber that have a transformative impact on audiences, the community, and its field. Hartford Stage has earned many of the nation’s most prestigious awards, including the 1989 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. The education department at Hartford Stage serves more than 21,000 students and adults each year. Our programs include student matinees, in-school theatre residencies, teen performance opportunities, theatre classes for students (ages 3-18) and adults, afterschool programs and professional development courses. The education department is committed to serving students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds; nurturing the next generation of artists and theatre professionals; developing a new audience of theatregoers; and being a leader in providing in-school, theatre-based programs that promote creativity, collaboration, communication and critical thinking.  Visit www.hartfordstage.org

Simsbury Bank is a Central Connecticut based independent, community bank for businesses and consumers. Simsbury Bank Home Loans is a division of Simsbury Bank serving the home financing needs of consumers.  The Bank’s wholly-owned subsidiary, SBT Investment Services, Inc., offers securities and insurance products through LPL Financial and its affiliates, Member FINRA/SIPC. Simsbury Bank is wholly-owned by publicly traded SBT Bancorp, Inc., whose stock is traded on the OTC Pink marketplace under the ticker symbol of SBTB.  For more information, visit www.simsburybank.com.

Pictured, L to R:  Ken Sklodosky, Sr. Relationship Manager, Simsbury Bank; Jocelyn Mitchell, Business Development and Relationship Management head, Simsbury Bank; Natalie Pertz, Education Associate, Hartford Stage; Nina Pinchin, Associate Director of Education, Hartford Stage; Melissa Polak, Relationship Manager, Simsbury Bank; Steve Vaughan, Sr. Relationship Manager, Simsbury Bank.

Pictured, L to R:  Melissa Polak, Relationship Manager and Ken Sklodosky, Sr. Relationship Manager, of Simsbury Bank, with several of the students participating in the “Connections” program residency with the Hartford Stage.

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