Credit Unions Helping Teachers Bring Personal Finance Into the Classroom

PEWAUKEE, Wis., June 15 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Starting June 18, Wisconsin credit unions will be sponsoring more than 50 teachers to attend summer workshops that will help them teach their students about personal finance.

Over the course of three training sessions — collectively called the National Institute of Financial and Economic Literacy — teachers will have the opportunity to learn about financial matters from instructors and professionals experienced in the financial industry. The sessions also make lesson plans, curricula, teaching strategies and other materials available to educators.

“These educators are taking a huge step in preparing their students for the real world they’ll face after graduation,” said Brett Thompson, President & CEO of The Wisconsin Credit Union League — the trade association for the state’s not-for-profit, member-owned financial institutions. “As the future of Wisconsin’s economy and workforce, young people must understand the basics of money management and make good financial decisions.”

In 2005, Wisconsin high school students received a failing grade when tested on basic financial concepts. Teachers are stepping in to offer financial lessons because they aren’t being taught at home — studies have shown that less than a quarter of parents discuss money matters with their kids, resulting in a growing population of young people who make crippling financial mistakes and struggle with debt.

  At the Institute, teachers will learn how to present:

— Session I: Paychecks, Financial Contracts and Entrepreneurship
(June 18-22). This workshop will focus on the realities of earning
money — including the fundamentals of social security, taxes and
retirement planning. This session will help teachers prepare students
for the responsibilities of purchasing a car, renting and starting a
business and buying a home.

— Session II: Investor Education, Economics and Insurance (July 9-13).
Teachers will learn to present the obstacles to saving and how to make
investing decisions as a means to wealth-building and financial
security. Additional information on aspects of insurance will also be

— Session III: Credit and Money (July 30-August 3). Teachers will learn
to educate students on topics such as how to read and understand a
credit report, the effect of interest rates and how to handle credit

The Institute is organized by The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy — a consortium of public and private organizations working together to improve our states’ financial literacy — and takes place at Edgewood College in Madison.

Wisconsin’s not-for-profit credit unions are dedicated to improving the personal finance skills of young adults as part of their commitment to REAL Solutions — an initiative which extends credit union services to people in need, regardless of whether the credit union can profit by doing so.

Credit unions have established themselves as leaders in providing financial education to young adults by partnering with high schools to provide internship programs, in-school branches, classroom speakers and a wide range of educational materials. Recently, Wisconsin credit unions announced they are providing free to all of the state’s public high schools the brass|STUDENT PROGRAM — a financial education program that makes personal finance relevant to youth.

This is the seventh year credit unions and The League are sponsoring the Institute.

Credit unions are cooperative financial institutions that are owned by their members and do not have stockholders. Because they are not-for-profit, they return earnings to members in the form of more competitive rates of return on accounts, lower interest on loans, lower fees and improved services. Two million Wisconsin residents belong to credit unions, of which nearly half are open to the local community. People can find a credit union to join by looking in the phone book or by visiting

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Source: Wisconsin Credit Union League