DOWNEY - Ward Elementary School won the 2010 School of the Year Award from the California Nevada Youth Involvement Network for their efforts in financial literacy, Downey Federal Credit Union announced this week.Ward is Downey Federal Credit Union's adopted school. Ward provides financial literacy opportunities for its students several times a year through credit-union sponsored assemblies, field trips, classroom presentations, money management classes and more. Over the past three years, the school has incorporated financial education into its enrichment curriculum. "The teachers and staff at Ward are very pleased with the partnership between Downey Federal Credit Union and our school," said Ward principal Jennifer Robbins. "Everyone has the opportunity benefit with knowledge and training." Every year the credit union sends its kids' mascot, Kirby Kangaroo, to Ward, where he teaches kids the importance of creating a budget. In addition, Kari Johnson, the credit union's community education and development representative, teaches a month-long class to enrichment students, where kids learn about the origins of money; the principals of saving, spending and sharing; and about the banking system. By the end of the class, students are able to explain the difference between banks and credit unions, how to properly fill out a check and balance a checkbook, and where U.S. coins and currency are made, officials said. This year, students were asked to create a budget with real money donated by the credit union. Using the three principles of saving, spending and sharing, the students voted to allocate a portion of their budget to Children's Hospital of Los Angeles and the Southeast Area Animal Control Authority (SEAACA) in Downey. "Our goal, from youth to senior citizens, is to create an environment where learning and skills can be used to make wise financial decisions," said Barbara Lamberth, president and CEO of the credit union. "We welcome the opportunity to help create knowledgeable community members of all ages."
********** Published: May 12, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 4