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Financial Literacy Month Kicks Off, Financially Fit Day Is Wednesday
MADISON, Wis. (4/1/13)--Financial literacy is no April Fool's joke. Credit unions are taking this week's kickoff of National Financial Literacy Month seriously, with activities aimed at educating about finances and reemphasizing the value of credit unions.

One of the first events, Financially Fit Day, will occur Wednesday, when credit unions can raise funds to support financial education. Credit unions can raise funds Wednesday and/ or throughout the month, said the National Credit Union Foundation. The initiative is part of NCUF's "Credit Unions Support Financial Education: Leading the Way to Financial Freedom" campaign. Credit unions will find ideas for activities in a toolkit at the campaign website.

"Holding a casual day on Wednesday is a simple way for credit union organizations to make an impact on state and national financial education efforts," said NCUF Director of Communications Christopher Morris.

Credit unions also will be participating in two annual national efforts sponsored by the Credit Union National Association:  National Credit Union Youth Week, April 21-27,  and the National Youth Saving Challenge.

Slip on a mustache for the "Savings Sleuth--Solve the Mystery" theme and help youth solve the mystery of how to save for meaningful purchases. The challenge prompts savings habits in youth and rewards 10 participants with cash prizes.  CUNA's resources include campaign materials such as financial education content, items to reward young members and apparel for credit union staff.

Maine credit unions will offer four Financial Fitness-Money Management Experience events this week. "In four days, nearly 1,000 students will participate in one of the fairs, which is unprecedented," said Jon Paradise, governmental and public affairs manager at the Maine Credit Union League. The fairs and hosts are:

  • Today, Maine Education CU, at Cony High School, Augusta;
  • Tuesday, the Alex Ferguson Chapter at Lake Region High School, Naples;
  • Wednesday, PeoplesChoice CU at Marshwood High School, Eliot; and
  • Thursday,  Norm Nolette and Jeanette G. Morin Chapters at schools in Lewiston.
Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a proclamation declaring April 20-27 as Money Smart Week. The Rockford Chapter of  Credit Unions (RACCU) has expanded its annual Money Smart Week (MSW), which it sponsored for five years, into the Northern Illinois Money Smart Week, April 20-27.

It will "reach people of all ages and walks of life with financial education and literacy in more  northern Illinois counties, including Boone, Carroll, DeKalb, Lee, Ogle, Stephenson and Winnebago, " said Lorna Cole, MSW marketing committee co-chair and director of marketing for Rockford-based MembersAlliance CU.

This year's MSW has more than 100 local partner organizations--20% more than last year--and will offer more than 160 free educational classes. Last year at least 5,400 people attended classes. Sessions by RACCU and its credit unions include:

  • April 20:  A Mad City teen reality fair at the Rockford Library and a Spring Fun and Safety Day at Rock Valley CU;
  • April 22: "College 101--Explore YOUR Options" and "Financial Aid & FAFSA--What You Need to Know," co-hosted by Generations CU, and "Getting the Credit You Deserve," co-hosted by Rock Valley CU;
  • April 23:  "How to Stretch a Buck," co-sponsored by Rock Valley CU, and "A Complete Financial Guide For Those Born Between 1960-1980: The Road Map," co-sponsored by MembersAlliance CU;
  • April 24: "Buying a Home? Ask The Experts About Credit, Financing, Realtors and More," co-sponsored by MembersAlliance CU;
  • April 26:  "ID Theft, Don't Be A Victim," co-sponsored by Rock Valley CU; and
  • April 27: "Teen Xtreme Credit Class," co-sponsored by MembersAlliance CU.
What is your credit union doing to promote financial literacy this month? Let News Now know by sending your information to newsnow@cuna.coop.
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