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MANCHESTER, N.H. – Students lined up to get real about money during the second annual CU 4 Reality Financial Literacy Fair held at America’s Credit Union Museum. CU 4 Reality is a financial management program taught to seventh and eighth graders as part of the Math curriculum at Rundlett Middle School. Sponsored by Bellwether Community Credit Union in Manchester and New Hampshire Federal Credit Union in Concord, the CU 4 Reality curriculum creates a fun and interactive learning environment where students can practice specific financial management skills and learn early-on the consequences of getting in over their head when it comes to financial matters. Developed by the Financial Literacy Education Committee of America’s Credit Union Museum, in conjunction with the New Hampshire Credit Union League, the fair gave some 400 students a chance to apply their in-class studies in the “real world”. To help them understand and get a feel for expenses they’ll face as adults, students were provided a folder detailing his or her personal information specific to their career choice. Based on their approximate monthly gross income, they then must calculate their take-home pay and create a monthly spending plan as they move through different booths making decisions about how much to allocate for items such as food, clothing, housing, transportation, insurance, home furnishings, savings, investments, entertainment and credit. Depending on their lifestyle scenario, they also see alternatives provided and have to make choices based on their own values, goals and resources. Credit unions across New Hampshire and in other states are also duplicating the CU 4 Reality curriculum for use by students in their local schools.

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