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Getting Creative With Fin Lit Month Education

MADISON, Wis. (4/17/13)--Credit unions and credit union organizations nationwide are using their imaginations to inspire members to adopt good financial habits as part of April's Financial Literacy Month.

This article is the second of a two-part series that provides examples of how credit unions are educating their members during Financial Literacy Month.

To assist with that outreach, the Credit Union National Association offers two national events designed to educate young members and their families on the benefits of financial literacy: National Credit Union Youth Week, April 21-27, and the National Youth Saving Challenge. The events teach the benefits of saving and goal setting and invite 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 capture children's imagination.

The National Youth Saving Challenge, held throughout April, rewards 10 savers with $100 cash prizes.

"We have nearly 250 credit unions registered for the National Youth Saving Challenge, ready to welcome youth wanting to 'stache their cash," said Joanne Sepich, CUNA Youth Week and Saving Challenge Coordinator. "Even more credit unions are prepared to show youth fun ways to manage their money during Youth Week. Puzzles, contests, and plenty of mustaches are on order for the big week. It's a big win for us all when we help a child set a goal and save to achieve it."

Among the ways credit unions nationwide are celebrating:

  • Corning (N.Y.) CU is hosting or is involved in more than a dozen financial literacy presentations and events in April. Events hosted by the credit union include an accounting internship, a career panel at a local high school, a loan education seminar, student observation sessions, a financial planning seminar, and overviews of CUNA's Mad City Money.
  • Connexus CU, Wausau, Wis., is offering children 12 and under a chance to become Saving Sleuths by finding special savings-related clues at two of its branches. Each child who finds all five clues is entered to win the Super Savings Sleuth Grand Prize.
  • Tinker FCU, Oklahoma City, Okla., took the SaveAbles Kids Club to Science Museum Oklahoma for its annual spring break event. More than 2,000 children came to the SaveAbles Kids Club area, where they learned about saving money and created a savings container with stickers and markers.
  • Consumers CU, Waukegan, Ill., will host a free "Your Credit Score," workshop April 25. The seminar will cover how to improve a credit score, the negative impact of a low credit score and some of the factors used to calculate credit scores.
  • Throughout April, the 18 branches of Intouch CU, Plano, Texas, will display a piggy bank stuffed with cash that kids can enter to win either by turning in a five-question financial quiz or a completed coloring sheet featuring the credit union's mascot, Chip. ITCU will offer its employees a month of Friday "Jeans Days" as a fundraiser for the National Credit Union Foundation and Texas Credit Union Foundation.
  • The Texas Credit Union League will host a Financial Fitness Day, April 23, sponsored by CUNA Mutual Group. The day will include Olympic events such as javelin (pencil throwing), desk-chair racing, target shooting (with Sharpies) and tug of war.
  • The Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Greater Dallas has provided 56 financial education webinars to consumers in April, thanks to a grant from the Texas Credit Union Foundation.  An additional 44 webinars will be offered by the end of April.

Raising awareness about credit unions is one of the steps in CUNA's, leagues' and credit unions' Unite for Good campaign toward achieving the vision of Americans choosing credit unions as their best financial institution. As that awareness grows, members will turn to aSmarterChoice and Unite for Good websites to locate credit unions they can join and find out more.

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