MADISON, Wis. (2/1/10)--Now is the time for credit unions to plan activities with staff and the community for a successful National Credit Union Youth Week,
which will take place April 18-24, according to the Credit Union National Association (CUNA). This year’s theme is “Get in the Savings Game.” Credit unions can use the sports theme in lobby events, marketing and to support local sports teams of all ages while encouraging youth to save money. Youth Week aims to inspire youth to open savings accounts and deposit their money at credit unions. This year’s celebration will take place during the Jump$tart Coalition’s Financial Literacy for Youth month. Also during Youth Week, credit unions can participate in CUNA’s National Youth Saving Challenge. The challenge encourages the habit of saving at an early age, builds member loyalty and helps lower the average age of members. Last year, nearly 140,000 young members deposited $26.5 million into their saving accounts during the challenge--more than double the amount deposited in 2008. A total of 10,006 new accounts were opened. “Have youth learned the importance of saving for their goals?” asked Lin Standke, Youth Week program manager. “Those participating in the saving challenge did ... our goal is to help credit unions continually increase that number. “The staff and members of credit unions are ideally positioned to respond because of their belief in the power of education--put to practical use--to improve the lives of their neighbors and their communities,” she added. A new item available this year for Youth Week is the quarter saver folder, which can be distributed to youth when they visit the credit union. The folders also work well at adult seminars or presentations as a take-home item for adults to give to their children, or they can be mailed to young members with a flyer about Youth Week. Free coloring pages, Savings Game jerseys and other promotional materials and products are available on the Youth Week home page (use the link). Credit unions also can register for the National Saving Challenge on the website and sign up for Youth Week e-News to receive newsletters with Youth Week ideas and updates. For more information, use the links.