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CUs teach financial skills year round too
PEWAUKEE, Wis. (4/23/12)--While financial literacy is being highlighted across the nation this month, the Wisconsin Credit Union League said credit unions provide financial literacy education throughout the year.

Here are examples of how credit unions teach money management in the state:

  • Youth-run, in-school credit unions. In-school branches teach young people the habit of saving. The branches are considered a "best practice" for youth financial education, said the league.
  • Savings programs. This week is National Credit Union Youth Week, sponsored by the Credit Union National Association. National Credit Union Youth Week invites younger members to save. Last year during Youth Week in Wisconsin alone, 2,950 young people deposited $465,992 into savings accounts.
  • Classroom learning. Credit unions provide the brass student program, which includes the lifestyle money magazine brass, free to Wisconsin high schools. Resources for students and teachers online support state teaching standards. A total of 405 teachers at 350 schools receive it for classroom use. Credit unions also provide free to schools the National Endowment for Financial Education's High School Financial Planning Program, a classroom course teaching personal finance basics.
  • "Experience" learning. Money Mission, offered by through the Credit Union National Assocation, is an online life simulation that challenges teens to balance their life along with their finances. Schools point students to Money Mission to engage their students in financial learning. The program is helping students in 48 states learn the fundamentals of personal finance and has awarded $20,000 in scholarships to college-bound students. This, along with day-long "reality" simulations at local schools, has engaged close to 15,000 students in financial decision-making.
  • Teacher education. Credit unions sponsor local teachers attending the National Institute for Financial & Economic Literacy, held annually in Madison, Wis. The Institute improves financial lessons for tens of thousands of Wisconsin students.
  • Free financial counseling. Credit unions provided almost 30,000 hours of this assistance in 2011 to prevent foreclosures and improve borrowers' creditworthiness. Referrals to classes improve access to checking accounts.
  • Presentations. Credit unions in Wisconsin delivered 5,460 presentations to 34,104 consumers in 2011 to improve their financial savvy on topics ranging from basic financial management to improving credit reports, home buying and more.
  • Events. Some credit unions support Money Conferences, events that teach low-income families financial basics. Other credit unions offer "savings challenges" involving cash prizes. And others offer classes during Money Smart Week.
This week, News Now will provide an update of how credit unions are educating their members during Financial Literacy Month, including National Credit Union Youth Week, April 23-28.


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