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Youth Savings Challenge deposits total 25M
MADISON, Wis. (5/14/10)--This year’s National Youth Saving Challenge saw young credit union members depositing roughly $25 million into their saving accounts and share certificates.
Click to view larger image U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Pa.) helped Erie (Pa.) FCU teach a group of fifth grade students about the importance of saving during April to help celebrate Financial Literacy Month. (Photo provided by Erie FCU)
Participating credit unions used the seventh annual challenge to motivate children, teenagers and their parents to start and maintain a saving habit by opening accounts and making deposits. This year, about 350 credit unions reported receiving deposits from 168,438 young members, including 10,385 who opened new accounts. This year’s results average out to $147 deposited per child. Last year’s more than $26 million savings total averaged $190 deposited per child, up from $87 per child in the 2004 inaugural year. “Get in the Savings Game” was the theme for the recently concluded National Credit Union Youth Week held April 18-24. Credit unions hosted lobby and off-site events, contests, tours, in-school presentations and sports-themed giveaways. A Web page illustrating activities for each state will be posted on the Credit Union National Association’s (CUNA) Web site in July. CUNA also selected 10 credit unions at random from those who reported their results to receive $100 each, to award to the young saver of their choice. The winning credit unions are:
* Dover (Del.) FCU, Dover; * MaPS CU, Salem, Ore.; * Unison CU, Kaukauna, Wis.; * Central Communications CU, Independence, Mo.; * Daviess County Teachers FCU, Owensboro, Ky.; * America’s CU, Garland, Texas; * Susquehanna Valley FCU, Camp Hill, Pa.; * Sterling-Van Dyke CU, Sterling Heights, Mich.; * Sunflower UP FCU, Marysville, Kan.; and * Gateway regional CU, St. Louis.
“Once again, our young members are telling us that they want to start and maintain a saving habit--and they want to do it at a credit union,” said Dan Mica, CUNA president/CEO. “Last year’s recession saw a record deposit of more than $26 million. We’re encouraged that youth are still committed to saving as the economy shifts upward again, and this should inspire us to continually find ways to reach and teach the young population so important to our future.”
Click to view larger image Oregon Community CU, Eugene, Ore., hosted activities during Youth Week, including field trips and prize drawings. Credit union staff also visited local schools to teach financial literacy courses. Pictured are two children who received piggy banks from the credit union to help them save their money. (Photo provided by Oregon Community CU)
"Credit unions are in a unique position to grow their own loyal members,” said Lin Standke, CUNA’s Youth Week manager. “The Saving Challenge is an event with a big payoff for everyone. Kids learn to save, parents see the credit union as ‘their trusted financial adviser,’ and staff have fun celebrating with youth.” Youth Week began as an opportunity for credit unions to focus on the financial needs of young people and to provide financial literacy education. The event has become a focal point for teaching the benefits of saving and goal setting. U.S. Rep. Kathy Dahlkemper (D-Pa.) visited Burton Elementary School with Erie (Pa.) FCU to support April as Financial Literacy Month. She helped the credit union teach the importance of saving and how to budget to a fifth grade class. “By showing how small savings over time results in big gains, we can help them understand the rewards and the importance of saving,” Dahlkemper said. “If we can get kids saving now, they can put money away for college and give themselves a real financial advantage down the road.” Erie FCU offers a Save-Up School Financial Literacy Program, providing each student with a $5 certificate to open their new account. “Results from mid-year financial literacy testing of our efforts have shown a 27% increase in financial literacy test scores from September 2009 through January 2010,” said Garrett Tadda of Erie FCU. “So we know our program is working.” Linn-Co FCU, Lebanon, Ore., celebrated Youth Week with an education carnival on April 22. The credit union has booths on CUNA’s Googolplex--a program aimed at teaching financial literacy to elementary through high school students--writing checks, saving and budgeting, cash counting and ATM safety. Youth receive a savings game bag with prizes and a Money Matters quiz, which has five questions. Youth can find the answers to the questions at each booth. Linn-Co also partnered with the local Boys’ and Girls’ Club to hold an early carnival for club members and then another carnival that was open to anyone in the community. Oregon Community CU, Eugene, Ore., offered a number of activities for youth. The downtown branch arranged for a second grade class to visit the branch, where youth were given a tour of the credit union and could try out the coin counter. Some of the youth also helped run the drive-up window. Gateway Metro CU, St. Louis, offered seven 25-minute classes on saving, earning and spending money. Youth also could practice writing checks on a large dry-erase board (The Missouri difference May 5). Beaver Valley FCU, Beaver Falls, Pa., offered youth a contest to win four $100 savings bonds, and a hoop and golf contest. Handouts included activity books, flyers, bookmarks, memo pads and snacks. TruMark Financial CU, Trevose, Pa., gave away $9,200 in scholarships to three high school seniors through the credit union’s Financial Jeopardy competition, which coincided with Youth Week. In addition to the top three winners, six other contestants each received $200 scholarships deposited into accounts opened in their names.
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