WASHINGTON (4/26/13)--Credit unions work hard to improve financial literacy in their communities, and Sen. Kay Hagan's (D-N.C.) new financial education bill will surely aid those efforts, the Credit Union National Association said Thursday.
During a financial literacy hearing Wednesday held by the Senate subcommittee which she chairs, Hagan announced she will soon re-introduce her 2012 legislation, the Financial Literacy for All Students Act. (Use the resource link to read April 24 News Now story: Witness Highlights CU Fin Lit Efforts In Senate Hearing)
The bill, according to Hagan, would create incentive grants for states to incorporate financial literacy education into their elementary and secondary school curricula. Professional development would also be provided to help teachers better teach the topics. The senator introduced similar legislation in 2011.
Credit unions provide financial counseling to more than 1.5 million consumers each year, according to a National Credit Union Foundation report entitled "Credit Unions: Focused on Financial Capability across the Nation." Early-age financial literacy efforts are a key part of this counseling, as credit unions hold nearly 25,000 annual educational presentations for more than 600,000 students, the NCUF wrote.
On-campus credit union branches held more than $34 million in funds from 111,500 student members as of 2010. Nearly 5,000 student workers received on-the-job training experiences at those 1,400 in-school credit union branches.
In total, credit unions invested more than $140 million in financial literacy efforts in 2010.
CUNA and credit unions are celebrating April's Financial Literacy Month with special events to highlight the educational services they offer their members. CUNA's National Credit Union Youth Week this week focuses on teaching the benefits of saving and goal setting, and invites youth to open savings accounts at their credit union and make deposits throughout the year.
CUNA also conducts the National Youth Saving Challenge throughout April. That challenge rewards 10 savers with $100 cash prizes.