WASHINGTON (4/2/10)--April is Financial Literacy Month, an opportunity for credit unions to showcase their financial literacy education efforts for an entire month. Many are focusing on promoting savings through the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA's) National Youth Saving Challenge. And National Credit Union Youth Week April 18-24 will bring opportunities to show what credit unions can do. National Financial Literacy Month is part of a national awareness campaign with the goal of increasing public knowledge about the need for and the value of personal financial education and how to obtain it. "CUNA is proud to carry on the legacy of its member credit unions through its support of Financial Literacy Month," said CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica. "In fact, since 2004, CUNA, the leagues and our member credit unions went a step further by launching the National Credit Union Youth Week, which puts into action for our young people the teachings of financial literacy--in particular, by learning how to become savers. "Last year, nearly 140,000 youth participated in our program, saving more than $26 million--double what they saved the previous year and a record. We look forward to another record-setting year--and helping our members, and future members, become ever more financially literate," Mica said. This year's saving challenge theme is "Get in the Savings Game at the Credit Union," and the sports theme is popular with credit unions. But credit unions are serious about their efforts.s Redwood CU, based in Santa Rosa, Calif., said its planned festivities include free educational seminars for children, teens and parents, plus contests, informative handouts, giveaways and more. The seminars include "Today's Money Smart Family," for parents, kids and teens; "Winning the Savings Game," with basic financial concepts and benefits of saving designed for elementary students and their parents; "Be a Player in the Savings Game" for younger teens; and "Smart Spending in the Real World," a hands on guide to help teens prepare for college and the work force. Credit unions are getting creative, too. At Portland (Mich.) FCU, one of the activities scheduled is "an M&M budget lesson" for middle school students. Several credit unions in St. Louis, Mo., are donating $5 to Children's Miracle Network for every new youth account opened or $50 deposit made into an existing youth account, according to Electro Savings CU. Industrial FCU, Lafayette, Inc., will use an adapted version of Aesop's fable, "The Ant and the Grasshopper" to teach the concept of opportunity cost--saving now and spending later--and ask kids to write their own ending. "National Credit Union Youth Week provides us a great opportunity to educate young people about financial matters in a fun and exciting way," said Lee Alderman, assistant vice president of educational development at Redwood CU. "Engaging them with fun opportunities like Credit Union Youth Week is the first step in helping them develop responsible money habits at an early age, which will benefit them for a lifetime."