PHOENIX, Ariz. – Arizona credit unions are on the right track in pitching financial literacy programs to adults instead of focusing solely on students, according to a top U.S. Treasury aide. Speaking here to CU executives involved in financial education, Daniel Iannicola, U.S. Treasury Deputy Assistant Secretary overseeing the department’s Office of Financial Education, sat in on a Desert Schools CU charter school classroom and met with leaders of the Arizona Credit Union League during a March 12 visit. “I came away impressed with how Desert Schools and other credit unions are putting their resources where their mouths are and making a very strong commitment to financial education,” said Iannicola. “It’s a big commitment and they are showing they are up to the task.” He singled out Desert Schools which has a full time teacher on staff devoted to reducing illiteracy in Hispanic communities. Iannicola said his visit to Arizona follows a similar recent stopover in Albuquerque and is part of a nationwide tour of both bank and CU operations by the department. He said he has made similar visits to CUs in Brooklyn, N.Y. and in Virginia, but the work being done in Arizona “is impressive.” The Arizona visit included a “roundtable” discussion held in League offices and featured talks by Arizona State Sen. Dean Martin discussing a bill creating “Financial Literacy for Youth Month” which is proceeding through the state legislature. Also on hand for the roundtable were representatives from government and non-profit agencies and Arizona education associations.

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