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CU System
More than 200000 youth save with SECU programs
RALEIGH, N.C. (10/6/09)--State Employees’ CU’s (SECU) youth accounts are continuing to grow, as more young North Carolinians embrace the concept of saving. The credit union’s two programs--Fat Cat, for children up to age 12, and Zard, for teens aged 13 through 19, recently surpassed the 200,000 mark in accounts opened with deposits totaling more than $80 million.
Fat Cat and Kristy Spaulding, vice president of SECU’s Lumberton-West Fifth Street branch, meet with students at a local elementary school as part of the Fat Cat program for children up to age 12 that places an emphasis on youth financial education. (Photo provided by State Employees’ CU)
Fat Cat and Zard place emphasize youth financial education, with dedicated websites, newsletters and in-school presentations by SECU personnel. Launched in 2000, SECU’s Fat Cat account was developed to foster a relationship with members at a young age and to assist parents in teaching their children the value of saving and managing money wisely. When Fat Cat members establish their accounts, they receive incentive items, and a passbook to track their savings. In addition to the Fat Cat website, www.cufatcats.org, and Fat Cat Paw Prints newsletter, SECU utilizes a Fat Cat Smart Money booklet as a teaching tool in many North Carolina elementary schools. With more than 35 Fat Cat costumes statewide, SECU personnel take the mascot into the schools to help them teach basic money concepts. SECU’s Zard teen program, which started in April 2002, expands account and service options for members to include a checking account, ATM/debit card and other lending and savings products. Zard members also receive an incentive item, and financial information on topics such as budgeting, checkbook balancing and credit scores via its Money Matterz newsletter and www.teenzard.org website. To enhance the program, SECU personnel use the National Endowment for Financial Education High School Financial Planning program and BizKid$ curriculum in North Carolina schools. “We are so happy to see the growing number of youth accounts at our credit union, as SECU personnel have worked diligently over the years to reach out to younger members,” said Leigh Brady, SECU senior vice president of education services. “Our youth programs also allow us to expand our financial education efforts--giving back to North Carolina through presentations to youth on money management topics. As SECU’s Fat Cat and Zard members grow older, we look forward to their financial success.”
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