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Youth Week Celebration Ideas

  • Credit Union Savings Sleuth Activities 
  • Open House Activities 
  • Celebrate Youth Week for $0 
  • Celebrate by Age 

Credit Union Activities for Potential Younger Members

  • Hold an open house for young members or invite school groups to see the credit and learn about financial processes.
  • Have staff make presentations at local schools on financial topics and the unique nature of credit unions. (For guidelines, visit www.nyib.org.)
  • Get involved in the High School Financial Planning Program ®.
  • Hold a Financial Fair with games, contests, and prizes to attract young people and help them learn about your credit union.
  • Offer presentations aimed at young people on relevant topics such as student loans, balancing a checkbook, and auto loans.
  • Award a scholarship. If your credit union doesn’t yet have a scholarship program, look into joining with nearby credit unions to offer a joint program.
  • Hold a Take the Wheel-Get the Best Car Deal seminar.
  • Host a bicycle safety clinic for younger kids.
  • Put together a career fair spotlighting positions at a credit union.
  • Hold an Education IRA "sale."
  • Develop a credit union quiz event for kids about money and credit unions.
  • Offer free admission to youth members at your local zoo.
  • Hold a movie morning for kids at a local theater with free or reduced admission.
  • Offer higher interest rates on savings to youth bringing in a report card with good grades.
  • Hold a college planning night for high schoolers and their families. Invite a high school guidance counselor and a local college financial aide officer. Have student aid applications on hand and resources on saving and paying for college.
  • Add a youth member to your board of directors.
  • Invite youth to bring in their coins for counting.
  • Offer a $5 deposit coupon to any child who brings in a new member under age 18.
  • Offer a special gift to any child depositing $50 as part of the National Youth Saving Challenge or more.
  • Donate copies of youth financial education materials to local schools.
  • Hold a pool party or picnic.

Open house activities

  • Give tours of the vault.
  • Hand out coloring and activity books to young ones and financial education and brochures to older youth.
  • Estimation jar—have kids guess how many pennies are in the jar; then count them at the end.
  • Invite local D.A.R.E. officers to speak to kids.
  • Decorate (youth week balloons are available).
  • Hold drawings for prizes every 15 minutes.
  • Set up staff computers with financial education games for kids to play (such as the activities in Googolplex: The CU Guide for Student Moneymakers).
  • Hold mini-seminars on balancing a checkbook, getting your first loan, and buying a used car.
  • Offer fun refreshments, such as pizza and root beer floats (youth week candy is available).
  • Hold a sidewalk chalk decorating contest.
  • Quiz kids on money. See if they can match the face to the coin or bill.
  • Paint faces.
  • Challenge high schoolers to test their financial knowledge by taking the Jumpstart 2008 survey of financial literacy.
  • Bring in a clown or magician for entertainment.
  • Distribute photo I.D. and fingerprinting kits.
  • Fundraiser—offer games for $1 each, with all proceeds donated to a local charity.
  • Play board games, such as Monopoly and Life. For more games, search the clearinghouse at www.jumpstart.org.

Celebrate Youth Week for $0

No budget for Youth Week? No problem. If you have some time, you can still pull off a terrific celebration. Here are 10 ideas for a resourceful staff:

1) Register for the National Youth Saving Challenge. This free program helps affiliated credit unions build strong relationships with youth and their families. The Saving Challenge will take place during the entire month of April, when youth are encouraged to make deposits at their credit unions. CUNA will tally and report the deposits, plus offer $100 cash prizes to youth at 10 participating credit unions. Click here and register by answering a few simple questions.

2) Put up the free poster. Affiliated credit unions will receive a free Youth Week poster in January.

3) Tell your members. You can't have a party without inviting guests. Modify the free newsletter copy and print it in your correspondence with members.

4) Play along. Invite the staff to ham it up during Youth Week. Have your credit union employees dress like a detective to get children into this year’s theme of Savings Sleuth, Solve the Mystery TM. Slap on a fake mustache, or throw on a detective’s trenchcoat and you’ll be ready to go!).

5) Share goals. We're all saving for something, so set a good example. Invite the staff to put up pictures of the goals they are saving for. Post them by their stations or make a collage.

6) Hold a book drive. Invite staff and members to donate new and gently used books during the week and then deliver them to a school in need or a local library.

7) Color. Put out crayons and coloring pages (JPEG or PDF) to entertain the youngest members.

8) Petting zoo. Contact your zoo or Humane Society about bringing in some kid-friendly pets Saturday morning.

9) Cook off. Feed young visitors with brownies, cookies, and candy made by your own staff for a friendly "best treats" cook-off contest.

10) Go to school. Send volunteers into local schools to introduce money management principles. For presentation ideas and educational resources, contact the credit union movement's National Youth Involvement Board at www.nyib.org.

Celebrate by Age!

Ages 0-5

  • Thrive by FiveTM: Teaching Your Preschooler About Spending and Saving
    Free activities and other resources for parents who want to encourage healthy attitudes about money in young children.
  • Set up tables and chairs for coloring pages, coloring banner, and activity books
  • Hand out balloons
  • Serve juice and crackers
  • Reserve a corner of your branch for a little play area
  • Offer tours of the vault and the opportunity to use a coin sorter and counter

Ages 5-10

  • Value of a Dollar: Teaching Your K-8 Child
    Everything you need to plan and execute a member seminar on teaching a preschool child about money is in the box—just add parents! This seminar covers why K-8 children need to learn about money, what motivates them to learn, and how to use allowance as a teaching tool.
  • Set up footstools at a “youth” teller window
  • Have staff make presentations at local schools on financial topics and the unique nature of credit unions. (For guidelines, visit www.nyib.org.)
  • Hand out coloring pages and activity books
  • Hold a sidewalk chalk decorating contest
  • Ask youth to guess how many pennies are in a jar. The estimates closest to the true amount win prizes.
  • Demonstrate Googolplex to young members.
    You can integrate Googolplex calculators and stories into financial education presentations at your branch. With the Googolplex Savings Calculators, young members can discover how long it will take or how much money they will need to save to reach a savings goal. Teach them the "Rule of 72" by directing them to "The Magic of Compounding Interest," a story in the "Save and Invest" category of A.J.’s Mall.

Ages 11-14

  • Value of a Dollar: Teaching Your K-8 Child
    Everything you need to plan and execute a member seminar on teaching a preschool child about money is in the box—just add parents! This seminar covers why K-8 children need to learn about money, what motivates them to learn, and how to use allowance as a teaching tool.
  • Hold an essay contest (a great topic could be “Who can join our credit union?”)
  • Set up board games, such as Monopoly and Life, in your branch
  • Conduct financial education seminars at the local middle school
  • Give away computer games to help youth develop analysis, computation, and organization skills
  • Demonstrate Googolplex to young members.
    You can integrate Googolplex calculators and stories into financial education presentations at your branch. With the Googolplex Savings Calculators, young members can discover how long it will take or how much money they will need to save to reach a savings goal. Teach them the "Rule of 72" by directing them to "The Magic of Compounding Interest," a story in the "Save and Invest" category of A.J.’s Mall.

Ages 15 and older

  • Conduct financial education seminars at the local high school or YMCA
  • Throw a pizza and ice cream party
  • Hand out financial education books and brochures, such as Guide to Money
  • Demonstrate Guides to Independence to your teen and young adult members.
    Reach a growing market with online interactive courses that show teens and young adults how to use your products and services wisely. These courses make learning about buying a used car and how to get a loan fun and educational.
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