Credit union emphasizes financial literacy

DOWNEY - Downey Federal Credit Union is offering a series of financial education classes - for children, teens and adults.In elementary schools, DFCU offers the Kirby Kangaroo Club, a savings club for children up to age 10, and Saving with Mandy and Randy, a curriculum supplement that helps students learn vocabulary words related to savings. In middle schools, the credit union promotes CU Succeed Teens Financial Network, encompassing students ages 11-15, which teaches students how to budget and save money. And in high school DFCU sponsors Making the Right Money Moves, a program which teaches students how to manage a checking account and their credit using workbooks. To help young adults better manage their financial skills, DFCU offers a magazine called "BRASS," which contains articles on auto insurance, budgeting and living outside the family home. In addition to the prepared programs, Kari Johnson, the credit union's community education and development representative, visits Downey classrooms, teaching practical money skills to students of all ages, including basic budgeting skills, the true cost of spending habits, the difference between a credit union and a bank, how to obtain credit, how to write a check, and how to reconcile a checkbook. Johnson has also led classes outside the school system. She has taught financial literacy classes at after-school programs at the Downey YMCA, to students at Downey Adult School, to seniors at the former OASIS program, and to community members at large. The credit union also offers a series of financial literacy workshops geared towards women who need to know basic, real-life skills. "We feel it is important that children have an opportunity to discuss and practice savings skills in the classroom," said Barbara Lamberth, president and CEO of Downey Federal Credit Union. "By sponsoring these school programs, we are reaching children at an impressionable age. If we can help them learn good money habits right from the start and raise their level of financial responsibility, it will pay big dividends for them and the community alike."

********** Published: July 7, 2011 - Volume 10 - Issue 12