Conversation with bank manager leads to lifelong lessons for students with autism


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MONROE Academy Learning Center’s (ALC) Rena Brenman found banking at the Monroe Township BCB Community Bank so pleasant that she decided to tell the branch manager about the experience.

While speaking with Branch Manager and Business Development Officer Vincent Davis, Brenman mentioned the Community-Based Instruction (CBI) program she works in at ALC in Monroe. Davis, who wants to “put the community back into community banking,” decided to extend an invitation to her students to tour the facility at 473 Spotswood-Englishtown Road, also in Monroe, according to information provided by the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey (ESCNJ).

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The recent tour began with about a dozen ALC students introducing themselves to Davis and his staff. Students were then shown the coin counting machine, and Davis demonstrated how loose change was automatically counted and converted into a receipt which could be cashed or deposited, according to the statement.

A teller described her functions, and Brenman reminded students about the lessons they had regarding deposits and withdrawals.

A visit to the bank’s vault followed, with information about the use of safety deposit boxes shared, according to the statement.

Davis then gave a $500 check to ALC Principal Erik Solberg to use for school activities.

The visit ended with Davis presenting students and staff with a bag of BCB Community Bank items, including a water bottle, pen, ear plugs and a piggy bank.

Solberg encouraged students to “get into the habit of saving” at an early age, according to the statement.

“A casual conversation with Mr. Davis was worthwhile because it grew into an educational and engaging experience for our students,” Brenman said.

The ALC is one of six schools operated by the Educational Services Commission of New Jersey (ESCNJ), which operates six Middlesex County schools for students ages 3-21 with autism, moderate to severe disabilities and at-risk behaviors, in addition to extending services to school districts statewide.



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