Pressroom > News Release:
Ohio CUs launch effort to improve financial literacy
Contact: Patrick Harris
Director of Media Relations
Ohio Credit Union League
Ohio Credit Unions Launch Effort to Improve
Percent of Ohioans Encourage Financial Education
December 13, 2007 –
Youngstown, Ohio – Have you had the “talk” with your kids yet?
Most parents try to talk to their children about making the right
choices when it comes to smoking, drinking, and dating. But how
many parents educate their children about making wise decisions
when it comes to money and credit? Not many, it turns out.
That’s why the Ohio
Credit Union League (OCUL) launched a financial education
initiative today in Youngstown, called MoneyAndStuff™.
According to a survey of
Ohio adults, commissioned by the League, less than one quarter (23
percent) of Ohioans make any effort to encourage financial
literacy in their families. And, only five percent were taught
about personal finance when they were young.
The League sees a direct
connection between personal financial illiteracy and the upswing
in bankruptcy rates, record debt, and home foreclosures. OCUL’s
research showed that people feel stuck in their current financial
situations, with little they can do to help themselves or their
OCUL President Paul
Mercer said, “Teaching personal financial responsibility has
always been part of the mission of not-for-profit credit unions.
We are stepping up our efforts as leaders and collaborators in
financial education because the financial health of Ohio’s
youngest citizens is at risk. By making smart consumers and
savers, Ohio credit unions are investing in brighter futures for
the next generation.”
Mercer said that Ohio
credit unions are taking action to protect Ohio’s future by
teaching students to make smart financial decisions, understand
the difference between wants and needs, and manage debt.
League’s financial education initiative, will:
Promote the MoneyAndStuff.info Web site as a financial
education resource for parents, educators, public officials,
credit unions, and the media. The site offers free financial
lessons, tips for parents, and educational games.
Target the most impressionable ages, grades 4 and 5, 11 and
Emphasize credit concepts and how to manage borrowing.
Result in more Ohio credit unions providing financial
education and stronger credit union partnerships with every
Ohio school district.
Michael Kurish, CEO of
Associated School Employees Credit Union in Youngstown, said at a
news conference today, “Credit unions are already educational
partners with schools. In the last three years alone, Ohio credit
unions have educated more than 20,000 students in nearly 200 Ohio
schools about financial matters.”
By providing free,
high-quality educational materials, credit unions will prepare
teachers to meet the state mandate, passed by the Ohio General
Assembly in 2006, requiring that all public high schools teach
personal financial education starting in 2010.
launched this morning at Austintown Fitch High School. Joining Mr.
Kurish at the event were State Representatives Ron Gerberry (D-
Youngstown), Governor Strickland’s Youngstown District
Representative Kenneth Carano, and Austintown Local Schools
Superintendent Doug Heuer. Several credit union leaders from
across the Mahoning Valley Chapter of the Ohio Credit Union League
The MoneyAndStuff™ media
tour is traveling across Ohio to inform consumers about this
Credit unions are member-owned financial cooperatives which are
democratically controlled by the members. As not-for-profit
financial institutions, credit unions return earning to their
members in the form of dividends, lower loan rates, higher savings
rates, and improved service. Credit unions consistently rank the
highest in customer satisfaction of any financial institutions,
and have been Number 1 in every American Banker/Gallup poll
conducted since 1989.