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Credit unions support Challenge Bowls to teach teens personal finance


Wisconsin credit unions are partnering with Asset Builders of America to involve teens in a competitive quiz tournament focusing on personal finance. It's a great way of making financial education fun while helping students achieve state standards for personal financial literacy.


The Finance and Investment Challenge Bowl involves student teams in a competitive tournament that poses more than 300 quiz questions on issues including basic personal finance as well as investments, taxes, insurance, economics, technology, business and more.


Students compete as part of regional championships and then advance to statewide finals in May.

Online materials  help students prepare for competition, and pre- and post-tests benchmark students' achievement. Teachers find that the Challenge Bowl nicely reinforces the concepts they're teaching in the classroom, and then some.


Students from nearly 50 Wisconsin high schools have participated. As part of the current competitive cycle, regional finals have produced winning teams in Racine/Kenosha and Wausau, with five additional regional competitions still ahead in early 2013: Madison, Milwaukee, Fox Cities, Menominee Reservation and Rhinelander/Northwoods.


Support and volunteers for the competitions has come from:


  • CoVantage Credit Union—Wausau & Menominee Reservation


  • Summit and UW Credit Unions—Madison & Milwaukee


  • Capital, Fox Communities and Unison Credit Unions—Appleton


  • Ripco Credit Union—Rhinelander


  • Valley Communities Credit Union—Wausau

"I’m always excited when the FICB for Madison comes around," said Stephanie Thompson, Community and Campus Relations Coordinator for UW Credit Union.

"It’s thrilling to see high school students actively take an interest in personal finance," she said. "The sooner we get students exposed to these concepts, the greater the likelihood they’ll adopt positive financial behaviors and avoid costly mistakes. The excitement these high school teams bring to the table reinforce the fact that financial education can be engaging and highly interactive."


Tim Barthel, VP of Member Services for Capital Credit Union, said the Challenge Bowl is "a great opportunity for students to increase their financial knowledge in a fun and interactive way. It brings out a spirit of competition among the students while building their confidence about financial matters. I would recommend it to any school looking for ways to get their students active in building their financial acumen."


Volunteers from credit unions are always needed and welcome to participate. Credit unions with a high school branch –as well as those that partner in other ways with high schools—are encouraged to invite additional teens to form teams and compete. Students from grades 9-12 can participate.


For more information contact Richard Entenmann at (608) 663-6332 or


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