ANCHORAGE (10/6/09)--An Anchorage-based credit union is hoping to help turn around an Alaska community that is known for its high crime and low income. Credit Union 1 plans to open a branch in spring in Mountain View, a community located near Anchorage. Although the branch’s opening is months away, the staff is already helping Mountain View residents by providing financial literacy and organizing community events and projects in the area (KTUU.com Sept. 30). The credit union also began offering a new elective class at a local middle school that teaches personal finance to seventh and eighth graders. Rachel Ramsey of Credit Union 1 told KTTU that it takes “baby steps” to get individuals into the habit of saving and opening checking accounts. Credit Union 1’s plans to open a Mountain View branch is viewed as a “personal finance renaissance,” that will hopefully end Mountain View’s poor economic stigma, the news outlet said. Mountain View has failed to keep many national businesses in the area, and its last financial institution--Alaska State Bank--closed in 1989, KTTU added. Credit Union 1 has $661 million in assets.