MADISON, Wis. (4/14/08)--Credit unions around the nation are preparing for the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) National Credit Union Youth Week April 20-26. Some have already undergone financial literacy activities to honor April as Financial Literacy Month. NAFT FCU, Pharr, Texas, held a Mad City Money Seminar, purchased through CUNA, at a local high school this week as a part of Financial Literacy Month. About 200 students attended, and 25 of the credit union’s 42 employees participated. “It was an eye-opening experience for the students and a great opportunity for our credit union to promote financial literacy,” Becky Palacios, NAFT marketing director told News Now. TopLine FCU, Maple Grove, Minn., created Get Smart With Your Money, an initiative to encourage youth and their parents to talk about money. The credit union will offer seminars, saving challenges and giveaways at each of its seven branches. “It’s important for kids of all ages to understand how money works and how to make informed financial decisions at some level,” said Mark Hodowanic, TopLine market manager. “Our seminars will cover spending and saving money, balancing needs and wants, using and managing credit effectively, budgeting, and paying yourself first. “We’ll help kids learn how to develop their own personal spending and savings plans by encouraging them to open a share savings account. And if they do it here, we’ll even match their first $25 in savings,” he added. Other credit unions have begun decorating their branches to align with this year’s Youth Week theme, “Got Green? Grow it at Your Credit Union.” Caswell CU, South Burlington, Vt., will allow youth to add a leaf to a large tree on the wall each time they make a deposit. The credit union also will give youth a pine tree sapling to plant in their yard. Family Financial CU, Muskegon, Mich., will give away seed packets for each deposit, piggy banks for every new account, and hold coloring contests. The credit union also will have posters of flower stems and blank dollar bills that can be colored and put on the stem. Baylands FCU, West Point, Va., decorated a teller window decorated to make children feel welcome. Youth aged 12 and younger making deposits of $15 or more will receive a prize of the day--which range from jump ropes to tree saplings. Teens making deposits of $50 or more will receive a green hackey sack. Beaver Valley FCU, Beaver Falls, Pa., is distributing Youth Week reminder slips with each member receipt. On April 25, the credit union will help children plant marigold seedlings to take home. Juice boxes and snacks will be distributed. Each youth making a deposit during Youth Week will be entered into a drawing to win one of four $100 savings bonds. Rogue FCU, Medford, Ore., is hosting five field trips for first-graders at local elementary schools. It also will host a movie night, deposit contests, and credit classes at local high schools, and will have downloadable “go green” coloring pages on its website. South Carolina FCU, Charleston, S.C., will offer a cash prize to children who report the best green practices. Children can receive a $1,000 deposit to a education savings account or a $1,000 share certificate with a five-year term (Charleston Post and Courier April 10). Thirty eighth grade students from Rogers Herr Year Round Middle School in Durham, N.C., are scheduled to tour Latino Community CU and Generations CU during Youth Week. Credit union staff will provide information about credit unions and will host a financial board game called “Cashflow for Kids” to teach them about money, said the North Carolina Credit Unions League’s Weekly Update (April 9). Credit unions can purchase marketing materials for Youth Week, such as posters, seeds, and statement stuffers, from CUNA. For more information, use the link.