Tuesday, April 15, 2008

CU fin lit efforts spotlighted in CUNA statement

WASHINGTON (4/15/08)--The Credit Union National Association (CUNA) Tuesday will urge approval of a House resolution endorsing the goals of Financial Literacy Month, during a House hearing on the proposal.

"Credit unions have traditionally made financial education a part of their mission, providing financial information and training to members on a one-to-one basis," the CUNA statement points out. It also notes that many credit unions actively sponsor community- and school-based educational programs.

The statement, submitted for a House Financial Serivices Committee hearing record, says these programs include school-based courses and seminars that provide resources on such issues as how to maintain a checking account.

CUNA's statement highlights CUNA's Financial Literacy Summits, events that that bring together representatives from credit unions and partner organizations to discuss financial literacy challenges and set an educational agenda for the credit union movement.

In January 2007, CUNA notes, it released its National Financial Literacy Summit report which highlighted recommendations for the financial services system, including:
  • Committing to educating the undeserved;
  • Making a long-term commitment to financial education as part of the educational curricula in your community;
  • Supporting making personal financial education a high school graduation requirement; and
  • Measuring the effectiveness of these efforts.

CUNA also points out that the credit union system sponsors and participates in financial literacy programs such as:

  • National Credit Union Youth Week;
  • The National Endowment for Financial Education's (NEFE) High School Financial Planning Program, which has distributed materials to more than 1,200 schools and 500,000 students nationwide since 2000;
  • BizKid$ television series;
  • The "Thrive by Five" program, to teach preschoolers about spending and saving;
  • Desjardins Youth Financial Education Awards;
  • National Youth Involvement Board;
  • In-School credit union branches, which extends financial literacy to youth through in-school and youth center branches across the nation;
  • Personal Finance Camps: and
  • Credit union staff training programs.

The CUNA statement also says the congressional resolution to designate April as Financial Literacy Month will make an important contribution by bringing national attention to this issue.
"For credit unions, financial literacy is not just something we do in April – financial education is a service we provide our members each day of the year," CUNA concludes in its statement.

National Credit Union Administration Chairman JoAnn Johnson, along with other financial services regulators and private sector representatives, is slated to testify at today's hearing on financial literacy initiatives.

courtesy of cuna.org

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