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NCUF grant combines fin ed movies
SPRINGHILL, La. (12/5/12)--Carter FCU (CFCU), Springhill, La., has developed a financial education program that combines education with entertainment through partnerships with local businesses.

Carter FCU's Collaborative Financial Education Pilot Program combines education with entertainment. A CFCU volunteer distributes information on Biz Kid$ and tips for starting a business at a Biz Kid$ screening at Springhill Theatre, in Springhill, La.
In developing its Collaborative Financial Education Pilot Program, CFCU partnered with a local studio to film a series of financial literacy video trailers to be shown before movie features in a theatre. It also provided interactive workshops around Biz Kid$ financial education programming.

Biz Kid$ is the Emmy Award-winning and credit union-funded public television series that teaches kids about money management and entrepreneurship.

CFCU's program was launched this year with a grant from the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) to help increase its capacity for delivering financial education programming and expand opportunities to access financial literacy training and financial counseling in low-wealth and underserved populations in Northwest Louisiana and South Arkansas.

Two CFCU member businesses, Fairfield Studios and The Spring Theatre LLC, have partnered with the credit union to develop and implement the project by contributing services, products and funding. 

"Carter FCU's multi-faceted approach to financial literacy is great," said Lois Kitsch, NCUF national program director. "Plus, trailers are an integral part of the theater experience, which makes this such a clever way to reach moviegoers with a message that will resonate."

CFCU's pilot program includes three initiatives to deliver financial education and literacy training to target populations by increasing the number of trainers and venues available, specifically venues beyond traditional classroom settings.

The marquee of Springhill Theatre, in Springhill, La. displays information about an upcoming Biz Kid$ screening. (Photos provided by National Credit Union Foundation)
CFCU's first initiative was to establish a member volunteer training program. During the pilot phase, 10 member volunteers were trained and certified by the credit union to deliver financial education workshops and presentations in communities served by CFCU. The group was named the "Carter Federal Education Team" (CFET) and includes credit union members and employees. More than 500 people have received financial education training as a result of the initiative. 

CFCU's second initiative--its partnership with Fairfield Studios--created a series of educational video trailers that are shown in Spring Theatre, a local movie theater. The videos introduce financial literacy topics to age-appropriate audiences using a "Carter's Fun Facts About Money" concept. Filmed on location in the communities CFCU serves, the videos combine familiar surroundings, and social and cultural elements with financial literacy topics to peak interest and raise awareness among viewers.

Video titles include:

  • "A New Bike," targeted towards youth and shown before G-rated movies. It addresses careless spending and the importance of savings.
  • "Your Financial Future Preview," targeted towards viewers 21 years and older. It addresses the importance of retirement planning, savings and investing for the future.
  • "Looking Back Looking Forward," targeting a broad audience age 17 years and older. It is shown during PG rated movies. The script was written to address the financial literacy issues that are most relevant to CFCU members and its communities.
The trailers are also available on YouTube. Use the links

CFCU's third initiative is its partnership with the Spring Theatre LLC, to develop a financial education program that adds an educational component to its summer Kids Camp Movie Program and Senior Citizens Night. The initiative increases the financial literacy of up to 2,818 students ages five to 18 years and up to 3,000 senior citizens.
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