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Fin Lit Month 'Big Win' For CUs, Young Consumers

MADISON, Wis. (4/15/13)--While credit unions make financial literacy a priority throughout the year, they are moving through April by celebrating April as Financial Literacy Month,  with special events to highlight the educational services they offer their members.

This article is the first of a two-part series that provides examples of the many ways credit unions are celebrating how they reach out to members.

The Credit Union National Association has created two events that help credit unions spotlight their financial education activities.

National Credit Union Youth Week, April 21-27, was created by CUNA so credit unions nationwide could focus on the financial needs of young people and provide financial literacy education. The event focuses on teaching the benefits of saving and goal setting, and invites youth to open savings accounts at their credit union and make deposits throughout the year.

This year's theme, "Savings Sleuth: Solve the Mystery" employs mystery and mustaches to engage youth.  Because National Credit Union Youth Week occurs during Financial Literacy Month, credit unions can extend their youth activities throughout April.  CUNA conducts the National Youth Saving Challenge throughout April. The challenge rewards 10 savers with $100 cash prizes.

CUNA conducts the National Youth Saving Challenge throughout April. The challenge rewards 10 savers with $100 cash prizes.Among the ways credit unions nationwide are celebrating Financial Literacy Month and National Credit Union Youth Week:

• As Gov. Tom Corbett signed a proclamation declaring April as Financial Education Month in Pennsylvania, he recognized the efforts of credit unions participating in National Credit Union Youth Week and in visiting schools and teaching young people basic principles of saving and spending;

• The Massachusetts governor, Deval Patrick, also issued a proclamation  declaring April to be Youth Financial Literacy Month in his state. Credit unions launched a Reality Fair at Roxbury Community College, an event designed to help students gauge where they are and what they're doing in terms of financial decisions;

• As a kick-off to in Minnesota, Postal CU, Oakdale, invited Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman to tour its student credit union branch at Tartan High School, and observe peer-to-peer financial education in action.

  • Baycel FCU, Bay City, Texas, celebrated the National Credit Union Youth Week mustache theme, "Savings Sleuth: Solve the Mystery" at its high school branch. (Photo provided by Baycel FCU)
     

    • At its high school branch, Baycel FCU, Bay City, Texas, provided every account holder with a mustache on the wall. When students make a deposit they get a sticker. The student with the most stickers at the end of April will win a prize;

    • Florida State Employees FCU, Pensacola, Fla., has embedded the new music video from The Disclosures—featuring the credit union music duo's newest original composition, this one singing the praises of saving--on its website. Use the link to view the video; and also,

    • Hudson River Community CU, Corinth, N.Y., is running a promotion in which youth members who complete and return a weekly quiz sheet are rewarded with a $5 deposit into their savings account;

    Financial Literacy Month comes at a time when CUNA, the leagues and credit unions are rallying to Unite for Good to secure their key strategic vision for the credit union system: "Americans choose credit unions as their best financial partner."

    CUNA, credit unions and leagues are taking steps to remove barriers, raise awareness, and foster service excellence as part of their collaborative efforts in working toward that goal. As that awareness grows, members will turn to CUNA's consumer website  aSmarterChoice and to the Unite for Good website to find out more. see the resource links.
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