MADISON, Wis. – The fifth annual National Credit Union Youth Week will kick off with the theme "My Money, My Credit Union-Where I Belong." The result of a combination of ideas from Erie Community CU Vice President of Marketing Sandi Carangi and R.I.A. FCU Executive Vice President Cleo Haynes, the new theme plays up the credit union difference to younger members. "This year's theme emphasizes that credit unions are not-for-profit financial cooperatives – a difference that sets credit unions apart from other financial institutions – to young members," said CUNA President and CEO Dan Mica. "It is important for credit unions to highlight all of our differences and tell our unique story to the public as often as possible." Youth Week began as an opportunity for credit unions nationwide to focus on the financial needs of young people and provide financial literacy education. CUNA also invites affiliated credit unions to participate in the third annual National Youth Saving Challenge to encourage young members to open new accounts and make savings deposits throughout the week. Here is how it works. Participating credit unions register on the CUNA Web site ( and set saving goals. Credit unions then tally the total amount of deposits, number of new accounts opened, and the total number of deposits made by young members during the week and report their results to CUNA to determine figures on a national level. Last year's savings challenge resulted in some 36,000 youngsters depositing over $4.62 million into their saving accounts throughout the week. In addition credit unions welcomed more than 4,500 new member accounts. Youth Week promotional materials and planning resources are available on CUNA's Web site. The site also includes educational materials, celebration suggestions from fellow credit unions, success stories, general press releases and media tips to alert local media about the event. Youth Week is slated to run April 23- April 29, 2006. For more information about Youth Week, visit and enter "youth week" in the search box or call CUNA Director of Youth Programs Philip Heckman at (800) 356-9655, ext. 4088.

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