ALBANY, N.Y. (5/14/09)--Diane LaVigna-Wixted, executive director of the New York Credit Union Foundation, was a featured speaker at the New York Financial Literacy Forum where she touted credit unions’ financial education initiatives.
At the second annual forum, held last week at Hofstra University in Queens, policy leaders, education experts and corporate leaders shared their experiences and insights about the need for financial literacy education in schools. LaVigna-Wixted said the “teachable moment” is now. Even though the economy is unstable and schools are facing budget cuts, now is the perfect time for schools to adopt financial education programs supported and promoted by credit unions, such as the National Endowment for Financial Education’s free High School Financial Planning Program, the National Consumer League’s free LifeSmarts program, the brass|STUDENT PROGRAM, and programming offered through public broadcasting’s “Biz Kids$” television show, she said. Keynote speaker U.S. Rep. Carolyn McCarthy (D-Metropolitan) talked about her commitment to work with Congress to ensure that education bills are passed. A “crisis is a terrible thing to waste,” she said. U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Metropolitan) spoke about his parents’ financial ignorance and how they were taken advantage of in financial matters. It was those childhood memories that made him a staunch proponent of financial education for children. New York Banking Committee Chair Brian X. Foley (D-Long Island) also spoke about the urgency of incorporating financial education in every school district statewide.