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Wisconsin CU League News Release - 08/18/11


95 credit union branches inside Wisconsin schools teach a valuable habit: saving money


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Christine Henzig
Director of Communications
(262)549-0200, Ext. 6019

Pewaukee, Wis. – When Wisconsin students from the elementary grades through high school go back to school this fall, they’ll be learning money management by operating 95 credit union branches inside Wisconsin schools. Youth-run branches now account for around 18% of the offices operated by the state’s 212 credit unions. Their more than 5,500 young savers have stashed close to $3 million in deposit accounts. That’s up from $2 million just a year ago.

Credit unions are cooperatives – financial institutions that exist to serve their member-owners. So instead of striving to maximize profits, credit unions exist to benefit all of the members who each own the institution.

“Teachers know that credit unions’ motivation is in people, not profits, and the trust in credit unions has provided a best practice for teaching hands-on financial skills in schools statewide,” says Brett Thompson, President & CEO of The Wisconsin Credit Union League.

The state Department of Public Instruction has defined competencies for personal finance that students should acquire by grades 4, 8 and 12. Schools with limited resources have used credit union support to advance their own financial education efforts at no additional costs to taxpayers.

All youth-run branches, which are offered as an investment in youth and the community, are adult supervised and state-regulated. Student volunteers run the branches to learn leadership skills as well as good financial habits. Some go on to paid employment with credit unions.

Development of youth run-branches earned for credit unions a Governor’s Financial Literacy Award. The trend typifies credit unions’ REAL Solutions initiative, which serves members and communities without regard for profit.  


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