WASHINGTON – CUNA’s “radio outreach” program launched in April to promote financial literacy and featuring dozens of live and taped interviews by CUNA President/CEO Dan Mica proved to be a ratings hit reaching an estimated 11 million listeners. CUNA said it arranged 20 interviews with radio hosts and news figures in cities across the U.S. and also put out separately packaged audio releases conveying a message that “even small children can benefit from financial education at an early age.” “We are estimating the interviews were aired more than 3,000 times on radio networks and stations” in major markets including Philadelphia, Chicago, Boston, St. Louis and Atlanta, said a spokesman. The favorable ratings report, said the spokesman, was issued by North American Network, Inc., a Bethesda, Md. media service firm. Both the interviews and audio releases focused on CUNA’s “Thrive by Five” program, which is aimed at teaching pre-schoolers the value and proper use of money. Broken down, the Mica interviews were heard by 7.1 million radio listeners and the audio release by 3.7 million. The discussion on the live radio interviews included an array of consumer finance topics with questioners also raising bankruptcy concerns arising at the time of Congressional enactment of the new bankruptcy law. “We feel the radio tour was so successful our plan is to repeat the program,” said the spokesman noting that a date for a restart has not been set. CUNA said its “Thrive by Five” program is now on its Web site and instructs parents how to obtain free materials to teach their children about basic money concepts through guidelines “and activities that experts have developed.” The materials, currently available in English and to be put into Spanish in the next six months, include eight activities that parents can download at no charge. “Thrive by Five” was made possible by a grant from the National Credit Union Foundation, with additional funds from the Ohio Credit Union Foundation and the Texas Credit Union Foundation, said CUNA. -

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