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Berkshire Bank awards $25,000 grant to Amelia Park


July 30, 2012
<b>Karen Rubin, executive director of the Amelia Park Children's Museum, Nick DiCaprio, branch manager of Berkshire Bank on Court Street in Westfield, Lori Gazzillo and Gary Levante from Berkshire Bank Foundation, Kristin Ryan and Kim Tower from Berkshire Bank on Court Street present a check to the museum. </b><p>Reminder Publications submitted photo

Karen Rubin, executive director of the Amelia Park Children's Museum, Nick DiCaprio, branch manager of Berkshire Bank on Court Street in Westfield, Lori Gazzillo and Gary Levante from Berkshire Bank Foundation, Kristin Ryan and Kim Tower from Berkshire Bank on Court Street present a check to the museum.

Reminder Publications submitted photo

WESTFIELD — Berkshire Bank Foundation announced that the Amelia Park Children's Museum in Westfield, was awarded a $25,000 grant to support the construction of a new interactive banking exhibit. The check was presented by Mike Mirski, vice president and regional branch manager for Berkshire Bank in the Pioneer Valley and Nick DiCaprio, Berkshire Bank's branch officer at its' Court Street branch in Westfield.

Amelia Park Children's Museum provides an enriching environment where children and their families can learn about themselves, their communities, and the world around them. Integrated throughout the museum is a broad range of create exhibits and imaginative hands on activities, which foster a climate of learning and exploration. The museum currently has 11 exhibit areas for visitors to explore and excite their imagination.

The new exhibit will replace and enhance the current miniature Berkshire Bank branch in the museum which provides visitors with important hands on learning opportunities focused on financial literacy. The project will allow the museum to purchase and install new, exciting banking components as an opportunity to teach basic math skills, problem solving skills, and help kids become money smart. The current Berkshire Bank exhibit is already very popular with visitors, but the enhancements will make the exhibit more interactive and educational.

The project will include "Know What A Million $ Looks Like" a new full size working bank vault to encourage visitors to match the code and open the vault to reveal a 3D representation of stacks of money showing $1, $100, $1,000 and $10,000 equaling $1,000,000 total. Also included is a working ATM station that allows children learn about deposits, withdrawals, and how consumers manage their accounts using technology. Wall mounted finance stations will offer interactive games and challenges where children can practice identifying currency and learn important lessons about managing personal finances. All of these new enhancements will allow children the opportunity to explore activities that highlight earning, saving, and spending. The new exhibit will open in the fall of 2012.

Peter J. Lafayette, executive director of Berkshire Bank Foundation said, "Berkshire Bank is proud to make this grant to the Amelia Park Children's Museum to enhance the educational offerings they provide. Helping children, even at a young age, learn about how to manage their finances in a fun and exciting way will help them succeed in the future."



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