Mrs. Case’s fourth grade class at Capitol View Elementary School had a substitute teacher – Mrs. Bosch – today but, for a brief time this morning, they had a couple of extra subs providing students with a lesson in finance. State Treasurer Roby Smith and interim Superintendent Matt Smith (no relation) dropped by the class to share a special announcement about some extra funds for the school district and get the 4th graders thoughts on how best to spend the money.
Treasurer Smith stopped by to present Des Moines Public Schools with a check for funds claimed through the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt.
“I am proud to reunite Des Moines Public Schools with their funds,” said Treasurer Smith. “Every dollar returned to schools and other businesses is a dollar towards helping them achieve their goals.”
Superintendent Smith accepted the check, totaling $17,308.21, on behalf of the school district.
“Des Moines Public Schools is grateful to have so many partners supporting our work in education, and that includes State Treasurer Smith and the team at the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt,” he said. “At a time when every dollar matters in supporting our students and schools, the recovery of funds is more important now than ever.”
After both Smiths spoke to the class it was time for student participation. First, some questions for Treasurer Smith, such as what he does in his job (he explained it is kind of like being the State’s banker) to whether he kept all of the State’s money in a giant vault (not money, he noted, but other valuables) to his favorite color (purple).
And then Superintendent Smith had a question for the students: how should we spend this money? As one student took notes, lots of hands went up and ideas shared. Some might be what you’d expect: playground equipment, soccer gear, books, art supplies, or starting a running club. A couple of suggestions – a private jet or a swimming pool – might run just a bit more than the check presented today.
Before leaving, Treasurer Smith encouraged the students to have their parents check the Great Iowa Treasure Hunt to see if their family has any funds to be claimed.
“More than $489 million is still waiting to be claimed, and schools from all around the state are on our list,” concluded Treasurer Smith. “I encourage all families to search for their children’s school or university, then talk to the school’s business department about making a claim. They’ll thank you for it!”
The Great Iowa Treasure Hunt, administered by State Treasurer of Iowa, is the state’s only legitimate source of unclaimed property. Each year, millions of dollars are turned over after financial institutions and businesses lose contact with the owner. Examples include forgotten checking and savings accounts, stocks, uncashed checks, life insurance policies, utility refunds and safe deposit box contents. Iowans and businesses can search for their name at GreatIowaTreasureHunt.gov.