Pressroom > News Release:
MoneyAndStuff Launch in Columbus
Contact: Patrick Harris
Director of Media Relations
Ohio Credit Union League
Ohio Credit Unions Launch Effort to Improve Financial Literacy
Only 23 Percent of Ohioans Encourage Financial Education
May 19, 2008 – Whitehall, 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
That’s why the Ohio Credit Union League (OCUL) launched a
financial education initiative today in the Columbus suburb of
Whitehall, 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 children.
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
MoneyAndStuff™, the 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.
Jeff Gardner, CEO of Whitehall Credit Union, 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.
MoneyAndStuff™ was launched this morning at Whitehall Yearling
High School. Joining Gardner at the event were State
Representative Tracy Heard (D-Columbus) and Whitehall City Schools
Director of Professional Development Juliet Peoples. Several
credit union leaders from Central Ohio were also in attendance.
David Murray, a career Manager for the Franklin County Crossroads
program, was in attendance in support of the new initiative.
Crossroads assists high school students transitioning into careers
and higher education. It provides both employability and life
skills training for youth in grades 10-12, helping students
experiencing at-risk conditions to acquire a high school diploma.
The MoneyAndStuff™ media tour is traveling across Ohio to inform
consumers about this important initiative.
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.