This summer North Jersey Federal Credit Union injected some financial literacy into the typical fun-in-the-sun activities. The NJFCU-sponsored summer youth program offered courses on both the main campus and the Valley Road campus at William Paterson University in Wayne, N.J. In July, 2,800 elementary, middle and high school students were welcomed into the program and about 500 opted to focus on gaining more of a financial education. Students were able to choose from different financial literacy courses depending on their interests and educational level. Courses offered ranged from money management for success to money and investment. At the Valley Road campus, technologically sophisticated classrooms equipped with flat screen televisions and a state-of-the-art simulated trading floor taught teens how to increase their personal wealth through financial management and investing. The main campus offered a more standard classroom approach, where kids learned the importance of saving, how to budget realistically, the dangers of credit card debt and how to minimize spending. Students applied math skills to scenarios of life’s costly challenges to prepare them to make the right decisions in their future. “Niche summer camps offer young people an opportunity to immerse themselves in a field or topic they love, explore new career possibilities and build strong levels of competence and confidence. Students emerge from their summer experience as masters of new skills and talents,” said William Paterson University Center for Continuing and Professional Education Executive Director Bernadette Tiernan. The move is part of the credit union’s ongoing commitment to ensuring the next generation becomes more financially savvy. In addition to providing backpacks, NJFCU sponsored the professors who taught the courses, supplied kids with ruler calculators and lunch bags, and gave students literature about credit unions and their benefits. –[email protected]

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