LANSING, Mich. (5/6/14)--As part of National Financial Literacy Month, Michigan lawmakers called upon credit union leaders to educate them about programs they can use to improve financial literacy statewide.
Community Financial CU's Natalie McLaughlin, senior education partnership coordinator, left, and Will Lawton, president/CEO, and Michigan Credit Union League Manager of Financial Education Beth Troost meet with Rep. Mike Callton (R-Nashville). (Michigan Credit Union League photo)
Representatives of the Michigan Credit Union League and various credit union professionals recently testified before the House Financial Services Committee to discuss the efforts they've undertaken in educating their members and their communities (Monitor May 5).
Beth Troost, league manager of financial education, first distributed to the House committee the Money Matters Thumball and teaching guide, a tool developed by the league's financial education committee.
Troost then explained to committee members that studies, such as those conducted by the Corporation for Enterprise Development and the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have demonstrated the importance of financial education in schools.
"The study shows that classroom financial education does work," Troost said.
April Clobes, chief operating officer of the East Lansing, Mich.-based Michigan State University FCU, added that her credit union offers several financial education programs, including one where MSU FCU partners with the city and the school district, called "Lansing Save."
The $2.5 billion-asset credit union also helps young people transition from foster care to adulthood with another financial education program.
"These types of programs really help our youth become successful," Clobes said. "Thank you for your interest in our work."
Natalie McLaughlin, senior education partnership coordinator at Community Financial CU, Plymouth, Mich., with $543 million in assets, said her credit union has organized nearly 40 student-run credit unions in schools, a program the credit union has operated since 1990.
"We have hired some of these kids as they have gotten older," McLaughlin said in Monitor.
The credit union also delivered 754 classroom presentations on financial education, reaching 18,000 students, in 2013.