State Employees’ Credit Union (SECU) just concluded its 8th annual Youth Saving Challenge and the Credit Union’s FAT CAT and Zard youth members definitely showed they were up for the challenge! Held April 23-27, 2012 in conjunction with National Credit Union Youth Week and North Carolina’s Financial Literacy for Youth Month, the Credit Union Saving Challenge featured a superhero theme to deliver its campaign with a “Be A Credit Union Super $aver” message. The week-long Challenge resulted in nearly 18,500 members using their “saving power” – opening over 600 new youth accounts and depositing more than $3 million! This year’s participation offered young members the chance to win a Kindle Touch 3G E-Reader. When a deposit was made to any FAT CAT or Zard share account during the week, the accountholder was automatically entered into a random drawing. One FAT CAT and one Zard member will be awarded a Kindle Touch E-Reader for their efforts.
To promote this year’s campaign, branch personnel created eye-catching superhero displays and used educational games and activities to demonstrate the importance of developing good saving habits. In addition, SECU’s 241 branches held various youth appreciation events and gave financial literacy presentations at local schools and within branches in support of National Credit Union Youth Week and April’s Financial Literacy for Youth Month.
With a primary focus on financial education, SECU’s youth programs include FAT CAT for children under 12, and Zard for teens 13-19, with over 212,000 members in the combined programs. Both FAT CAT and Zard are designed to educate youth on basic financial concepts and assist parents in teaching their children the benefits and value of managing money wisely. SECU personnel use a FAT CAT “Smart Money” workbook and its popular mascot to help teach its youngest members and utilize Biz Kid$ and NEFE (National Endowment for Financial Education) curricula for middle and high school students, respectively. Each youth program has a dedicated website, www.cufatcats.org and www.teenzard.org, along with quarterly educational newsletters to complement the specialized accounts.
Gary Hooper, Vice President of SECU’s Raleigh-Louisburg Road branch comments,
“The Saving Challenge is an exciting event for our young members and employees, offering a fun and educational approach to help children learn the value of saving at
an early age. The enthusiasm and talent of our staff to plan Youth Week events and activities that children can relate to shows our youngest members how important they
are and how much fun saving can be!”