DES MOINES, Iowa (11/7/08)--Iowa credit unions will participate in and sponsor “Financial Literacy in the Heartland,” a special listening forum hosted by members of the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy. More than 70 financial literacy leaders throughout the state have been invited to attend the event Tuesday in Des Moines. The Iowa listening session will be convened by Tahira Hira, Ph.D., Iowa State University professor of personal finance and consumer economics, who serves on President Bush's Advisory Council and the Iowa Credit Union Review Board. The forum is sponsored by the Iowa Credit Union League (ICUL), Greater Iowa CU, Ames, and the Iowa State University College of Business and College of Human Sciences. ICUL will provide a testimonial about how credit unions are improving their members’ financial literacy and what can be done in the future, both at a state and national level, to help consumers become more financially self-sufficient. “Iowa credit unions are advocates for increasing financial literacy, not only among members but our broader communities,” said Patrick S. Jury, president/CEO of ICUL. “Financial literacy is a core component of Iowa credit unions, and we continue to incorporate it into everything that we do.” Last year, ICUL helped pass legislation that requires Iowa K-12 schools to adopt “core curriculum standards” for financial education. Specifically, the legislation requires that financial literacy courses are offered that include money management skills, spending plans, decision-making skills to analyze debt incurrence and management, and saving and investing as applied to long-term financial security. Also, the Iowa Credit Union Foundation implemented the state’s first credit union Individual Development Account program, which teaches adults the value of saving and the impact an asset purchase can have on their financial position. The 16-member President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy (see link) was created in January by President Bush to assist Americans with financial matters. The president and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson have asked the council to work with public and private sectors to help increase financial education efforts for all Americans. Members of the council are hosting listening sessions with financial literacy leaders nationwide. “The information gleaned from these meetings may be applied toward the advisory council’s recommendations to the U.S. Treasury Department and ultimately to the president,” Hira said. Dan Iannicola Jr., deputy assistant secretary for financial education, U.S. Treasury, will moderate the session.