CHICAGO – Alliant Credit Union and Operation HOPE, Inc. (OHI) have teamed up to increase area youth's financial IQ. In February 2005, Alliant CU will send a dozen of its volunteer teachers into Chicago area schools with OHI's "Banking on Our Future" curriculum, which is geared specifically to middle-grade students. OHI is a national non-profit organization dedicated to teaching the importance of managing money. Created in 1996, OHI first gained public exposure in 2001 when Chicago-based TV talk show host Oprah Winfrey provided Founder and President/CEO John Bryant with a $100,000 grant from her Angel Network Foundation. The over $4.3 billion credit union is the first national credit union to join OHI. "We see this as a valuable partnership that allows us access to local schools to teach as many students as possible about the importance of money," says Alliant CU CEO/President David Mooney, "Thanks to OHI, we now have a training program and curriculum in place that's fully supported by its corps of about 1,200 OHI volunteers." Mooney has also volunteered his services, taking on an executive position on OHI's Midwestern Regional Board. Since its inception, the "Banking on Our Future" program has been taught to 139,000 students nationwide, focusing on banking basics like managing a checking account, the importance of good credit, and basic investments. Using its staff as teachers, Alliant CU hopes to franchise the OHI curriculum to an estimated 500 fifth and sixth graders over the next year.

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