Guest Article -Financial Literacy
By John P. Buckley, Jr., President/CEO of Gerber Federal Credit Union
April is Financial Literacy Month. While Gerber Federal Credit Union believes that financial knowledge is a continuous and ongoing process, we are shining a spotlight throughout the month of April on things we as a community can do to achieve financial health and well-being.
We believe that financial awareness should begin early. That’s why we will visit every public and private school in Newaygo County to read “Alexander, Who Used to Be Rich Last Sunday” to more than 650 second-graders. We’ll be giving every student and teacher a copy of this tongue-in-cheek story by Judith Viorst that tracks the financial – and consumer – choices a boy makes with his dollar.
We’ll also be visiting around...
...60 Newaygo County high school juniors and seniors with state Rep. Scott VanSingel of the 100th District to talk about issues surrounding financial decision-making, economics, advocacy and public policy.
This month, Gerber FCU is sponsoring and participating in Money Smart Kids Read, an event held during National Money Smart Week April 22-29, which is the broadest and most comprehensive financial education program in the country. Started in 2002 in Chicago with just 40 programs, it has expanded significantly to become the only national educational program for people at all stages of life.
As part of Money Smart Kids Read, the Michigan Credit Union League provides public libraries in Michigan with free copies of the Step-into-Reading book, “A Dollar For Penny,” to be read and given away to families attending storytimes during Money Smart Week.
Last year, Michigan libraries across the state held more than 200 story times and gave away donated books to more than 8,000 families in 53 counties. In addition, local credit unions such as Gerber FCU partnered with local libraries to participate in story times or educational sessions for parents attending, with activities planned at Grant Area District Library April 24-28.
To further promote financial literacy, Gerber FCU provides financial support so students and teachers in six Newaygo County schools have access to a web-based resource, Banzai, which merges classroom learning with real-world experience as students learn to make wise spending decisions.
One public event we’re participating in is part of Spectrum Health Gerber Memorial’s free seminar session, Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies. On Thursday, April 13, we’ll share five tips for financial health and wellness at Tamarac from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. We encourage the community to call now and register for this event at 231.924.3073.
Gerber FCU looks forward to doing our part this April and year-round to help improve the financial well-being of Newaygo County families and small businesses in our community.