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Its not too late to sign up for Youth Week
MADISON, Wis. (4/10/12)--There's still time to register for the National Credit Union Youth Week and the National Youth Saving Challenge--two events sponsored by the Credit Union National Association (CUNA) in celebration of National Financial Literacy Month.

Credit Union Youth Week is April 22-28. This year's theme is "Be a Credit Union Super Saver."

Click for slide show For a look at the past 11 years of National Credit Union Youth Week Posters, click on the slide show.
National Youth Saving Challenge is held during the entire month of April. Last year nearly 146,000 young members deposited $28.5 million into their saving accounts during National Youth Saving Week---with 9,058 new accounts.

Events such as youth week and the savings challenge offer credit unions an opportunity to differentiate themselves within their communities, said JoAnne Sepich, CUNA's Youth Week coordinator. For that reason credit unions should spread the news that they are participating, she added.

"Let people within your community know about it," Sepich said. "Tell your sponsor groups. Nothing endears you to people more than doing something for their children."

Even credit unions without a budget can participate in Credit Union Youth Week. Sepich offers these tips:

  • Register for the National Youth Saving Challenge. The free program helps affiliated credit unions build strong relationships with youth and their families. CUNA will tally and report the deposits, plus offer $100 cash prizes to youth at 10 participating credit unions. Register by answering a few simple questions. Use the link for more information
  • Display the free challenge poster. Affiliated credit unions received a free Youth Week poster in January.
  • Play along. Invite the staff to ham it up during Youth Week. Credit unions can feature a theme where employees dress accordingly.
  • Share goals. Set a good example. Invite the staff to put up pictures of their own savings goals. Post them by their stations or make a collage.
  • 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 or a local library.
  • Color. Put out crayons and coloring pages to entertain the youngest members.
  • Hold a petting zoo. Contact your zoo or Humane Society about bringing in some kid-friendly pets Saturday morning.
  • Hold a cook off. Feed young visitors with brownies, cookies, and candy made by staff.
  • Go to school. Send volunteers into local schools to introduce money management principles.
Here's how three credit unions around the country will celebrate Credit Union Youth Week:

  • UT FCU, Knoxville, Tenn., will hold events at two locations, and at each location it has asked community organizations to get involved by adding an item to the backpacks of goodies each child will receive or by setting up a booth at a branch the day of the event to join. One location will feature a rock-climbing wall provided by the National Guard. Invitations have been sent to more than 300 area youth and their families. Registrants will be entered into a drawing for a Wii entertainment console and a sports package to be given away by UT FCU.
  • Eaton Family CU, Euclid, Ohio, is tying the release of "The Avengers" movie with its Super Saver promotion. Parts of "The Avengers" were filmed in Cleveland, so many area residents are aware of the movie's release in May. The credit union will deposit $20 to any new youth account opened during Credit Union Youth Week. New youth members also will receive a T-shirt with a yellow-and-red Eaton Family emblem on the front and "I'm a Super Saver at Eaton Family Credit Union" on the back. Any deposit of $100 or more will enter the youth into a drawing in conjunction with a locally-owned movie theater for four tickets, four snacks, millionaire for a day service ($20 interest from $1 million on deposit for one day), and a Super Saver T-shirt.
  • Ventura (Calif.) County CU is hosting a video contest in which participants are asked to tell other young members how to be credit union super savers. The creator of the winning entry will win $100 plus $2,500 for his/her school's film/video production program. The credit union will also award $25 gift cards to five runners-up.
Amid all the games, events and activities, good financial management and savings, credit unions have one simple message that holds true for both children and adults: Take care of your needs before your wants.

"That is very easy for children to understand, and it can be a life-changing message for entire families," Sepich said.


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