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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – As a time for America’s credit unions to shine the spotlight on how young people earn, spend, save, and manage their own money and how America’s credit unions help them do so wisely, National Credit Union Youth Week from April 14 to April 18 marked several events and milestones. Perhaps the most significant milestone reached was credit unions setting an in-school branch record. According to CUNA, 100 credit unions are operating branches in 310 elementary, middle, and high schools in 28 states. All have some degree of student control. “It’s one thing to preach saving to young people – it’s another to go out of your way to make it easy by staffing teller windows in schools throughout the country,” said Philip Heckman, director of youth programming for CUNA’s Center for Personal Finance. “I can think of no better way to show that `Youth Count at Credit Unions.’” Here’s a glimpse at a few credit union Youth Week happenings: Getting Fiscally Fit! *Financial Partners Credit Union has partnered with the Downey YMCA to provide a series of five free financial courses to help the community get Fiscally Fit. The new program will include a wide range of topics such as Banking Basics, Rebuilding Your Credit, Smart Car Buying, Buying Your First Home, and Investing Your Money. The series will be held the last Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. at the Downey YMCA. In addition, the credit union has donated $1,500 to the YMCA Annual Community Service Campaign. *The Maine Credit Union League reports that credit unions throughout the state distributed more than 1,000 NEFE High School Financial Planning Program Student Guides and guides for junior high school students called How to Manage Your Share Draft Account, courtesy of the Maine Council on Economic Education, and other materials to parents and children in an effort to increase understanding about personal finance and money management to Maine children. Over 3,000 kids here participated in youth financial literacy week activities. One credit union even offered kids a chance to be a millionaire for a day by earning one-day’s interest on one million dollars. *In Michigan eight state legislators and several credit union volunteers teamed up to introduce personal finance curriculums to middle and high schools in Jackson, Redford Township, South Lyon, Grand Haven, Oak Park, Farmington, Brighton and Allen Park. According to the Michigan Credit Union League credit unions here lead the nation in financial literacy outreach, teaching more than 36,000 students annually. Recently Community Choice Credit Union helped fifth graders at Cleveland Elementary School open CU at School- a mini credit union branch owned and operated by students. *Raritan Bay Federal Credit Union joined forces with the Credit Union Association of New Jersey and helped raise financial awareness at South Amboy High School. Presentations included educational games and an open discussion, on the importance of financial literacy. The school’s credit union The Lighthouse, which is in its fifth year of operation, is the first credit union branch operated by high school students in the state of NJ. In addition, the student branch launched a new accounts sweepstakes for various prizes, including a season pass to Great Adventure, digital camera and portable CD player. Getting Down to the Basics *At the Spokane Teachers Credit Union’s My Life, My Money Teen Financial Workshop about 86 teens got a “reality check”. Teens learned the basics of savings/ checking accounts and establishing credit and learned how to obtain a loan, manage a real life budget, and plan for college. Each table of teens were assigned “real life” scenarios and had to budget for that scenario. Teens learned just how quickly money disappears. “By the end of the game, I had no money left; living on your own really is expensive,” one teen said. *Erie General Electric Federal Credit Union mixed learning with fun by offering young members caricature portraits, giveaways and prizes including a $25 gift card to local waterpark Splash Lagoon. [email protected]

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