After receiving a first place nod in the state of Maine for partnering with the University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK) and working with them to create a Financial Literacy Program for the youth of the St. John Valley, Acadia FCU has been awarded second place at the National Level. The National Desjardins Award for Youth Financial Education honors credit unions for their commitment to youth financial literacy. This year, organizations from 29 states entered the competition with 5 first place winners, 3 second place winners and 4 honorable mentions.
A little over a year ago, Acadia FCU and UMFK decided to create a partnership that would help address the absence of Financial Literacy among our local youth. Since its inception, the Partnership has launched and implemented two comprehensive programs at separate grade levels.
The Benny Banks program assists second grade students in learning the importance of saving their money for college. The Dollars & $ense Financial Fair provides sixth graders with tools to understand the banking process, part-time job opportunities, and the potential of their allowances. Since their implementation last year, these programs have won high praise from local students and teachers as well as recognition from the Maine Credit Union League and the National Credit Union Foundation.
The third component of the Financial Literacy Program, targeting high school juniors, will be implemented this year. Originally, the program was called FAFSAmbassadors, and focused on helping students with the college financial aid process. The curriculum, however, was limiting and has been reconfigured to create a more comprehensive approach consist with the financial needs and future plans of high school students. The program has been renamed Oinkonomics, and will be delivered completely online so that students can access modules in the classroom, from home, or on the go.
“We are thrilled to have received recognition for our partnership with UMFK and for the collaborative work that has already been done,” commented David Desjardins, President/CEO of Acadia FCU. “We plan to continue innovating new ways to encourage local youth to become more aware and prepared for their financial futures.”
Click here to read more about Acadia FCU’s financial literacy efforts (May 2012)