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Help schools on National Fin. Capability Challenge
WASHINGTON and MADISON, Wis. (1/24/12)--Credit unions have the tools to assist high schools in preparing for the National Financial Capability Challenge, sponsored by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the U.S. Department of Education from March 12 to April 13.

The challenge is being announced because students today face a fast-paced, dynamic economy and need a good financial education to succeed, said the Treasury Department. The challenge is intended for teachers to administer in high school classrooms equipped with computers. It  is a free, online series of financial questions for high school students to test their knowledge of earning, spending, saving, borrowing, risk protection and more.

Credit unions will see more information about how to work with high school educators participating in the project from the Credit Union National Association's (CUNA) youth services. CUNA's youth products provide tools to improve the financial capability of youth as well as of their families.

Googolplex began touting the challenge in its December monthly subscriber e-mail, and subscribers' January newsletter will explain how easy it is for credit unions to pair with high schools. Next week, CUNA's Youth Week e-News will share some sample questions and explain that a credit union can work with a teacher to deliver the curriculum before the students take the challenge in class. The challenge also will likely be mentioned in the financial literacy chapter of CUNA's upcoming Environmental Scan (E-Scan).

According to the Treasury announcement, the challenge is:

  • Quick. It takes about 30 minutes to administer the challenge online but lessons students will learn in preparing for it will last a lifetime.
  • Easy.  Comprehensive lesson plans and sample questions are available in the online Educator Toolkit to assist preparing students for the challenge.
  • Rewarding. Educators and top-scoring students in each school will earn personalized award certificates and states with the highest participation will be recognized.
Also, any high school educator--even those not teach math, business or personal finance--can register their students to participate. 

The website also provides tools to help spread the word about the challenge, including:

  • Content to e-mail other educators;
  • A flier with details to attach to the e-mail or post in a teacher's lounge;
  • Content to submit for publication in the school district's newsletter; and
  • Content to post on websites, blogs and other online sites.
Meanwhile, credit unions can several youth financial education sources from CUNA at the resource links.
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