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Northwest FCU recognized by league CUNA for youth products
HERNDON, Va. (10/9/08)--The Credit Union National Association and the Virginia Credit Union League recently recognized Northwest FCU (NWFCU), Herndon, Va., for its contributions to youth financial education and savings.
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Click to view larger image Northwest FCU staff prepare Youth Club carnival games for a “Carnival of Savings” event for members. The credit union was recently recognized by the Credit Union National Association and the Virginia Credit Union League for its youth savings products and services. (Photo provided by Northwest FCU)
NWFCU received first place in the Louise Herring Award for Philosophy in Action and third place in the Desjardins Youth Financial Education Awards for its youth products. The credit union recently introduced Youth Club accounts to benefit members up to age 18. Four different club levels, segmented by age, aim to teach youth about the importance of saving money. “When we began developing our youth programs, it was important for us to focus on the unique needs of every age group,” said Joelle Hahn, NWFCU senior marketing specialist and project manager for the credit union’s youth-based initiatives. “The skill levels and interests of a five year-old are vastly different from those of a 15 year-old, and we wanted to reflect those differences in the club benefits.” Since the program was launched this year, NWFCU has opened 670 Youth Club Accounts. Youth saved more than $739,000 as of Aug. 30. Rewards are incorporated into each Youth Club account. The program rewards ‘saving what you can’ with every in-branch deposit. After 10 deposits, Youth Club members receive a gift. NWFCU also encourages Youth Club Account savings by paying a higher dividend rate on the first $500 saved. In addition to bonus dividend earnings, Youth Club Account members are also eligible to purchase special add-on certificates. The certificates offer a one-year term, a $100 minimum, and the ability to deposit additional funds. Youth Club accounts include:
* The Sweet Pea Account, for ages 0-3, a custodial account for parents and grandparents to encourage youth to start a savings. The custodian manages the funds until the child reaches adulthood; * The Westies Kids Club, for ages 4 to 8, a savings account for elementary-aged children; * Plan-it Now, for children age 9-12, a share savings account. Youth receive a membership kit that includes basic lessons on money management, a Plan-it Now decal, savings account register and a tracker card to track their deposits; * First Rewards, for ages 13-17, offers youth bonus dividends on their first $500 saved. When a First Rewards account reaches a $500 balance, the member receives a $25 bonus. The First Rewards membership kit includes a money slide guide--a quick reference guide providing tips on goal-setting, budgeting, smart shopping and credit.
When Youth Club Account members outgrow their clubs, their account automatically migrates to the next club level. Along with a birthday card, members receive a new membership kit. Parents also are given a brochure that offers specific guidance on how to teach their children about money. They receive a subscription to The Family Green, NWFCU’s quarterly newsletter exclusively for parents of Youth Club Account holders full of articles that help parent and kids build valuable money skills. “Our Youth Club accounts give parents the tools to teach children the difference between wants and needs, the importance of saving and how to make saving a life-long habit,” said Gerrianne Burks, NWFCU president/CEO. “We live in a society of dual-income families, overscheduled activities, and educators who must teach to meet minimum standards, leaving little time for learning such basic concepts as paying yourself first, saving for your future, and spending money wisely,” added Juri Valdov, former CEO and present executive senior vice president of external affairs at NWFCU. “Someone needs to make learning money management skills a priority, and who better than America’s credit unions?” Valdov leads a global credit union initiative focused on savings, serving on the Financial Literacy Task Force for CUNA’s Personal Finance Initiative.
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