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    Unique “Kid’s CU” From Southern Chautauqua FCU Reaching Youth

    Southern Chautauqua FCU's President/CEO John Felton talks to students at a local school about the Kid's Credit Union program and how they can graduate high school with $10,000 by meeting savings goals. Candy White, Kid's CU Coordinator, is standing behind a table with $10,000 in cash on display.

    Through its innovative “Kid’s Credit Union” program, Southern Chautauqua Federal Credit Union continues to reach more youth in the communities it serves, expanding over 200% in area schools last year. Southern Chautauqua FCU received a grant for the program from National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) to cover the cost of materials.  

    The Kid’s Credit Union project begins with providing financial education to second graders in Southern Chautauqua FCU’s community and follows these young individuals through to their graduation in high school. There are yearly goals for the individuals to meet with the end goal to graduate with a balance in their accounts of over $10,000.

    “The vision of the credit union is to strengthen these students’ financial position so they will have a positive impact in the workforce after high school and become the community’s bright future,” said John Felton, President/CEO at Southern Chautauqua FCU. “The best way to affect the future is to teach a child the value of saving money and rewarding them for their efforts.”

    “Educating youth on the importance of saving and being financially savvy is critical,” said Lois Kitsch, National Program Director at NCUF. “Southern Chautauqua FCU’s Kid’s Credit Union program is a great mix of financial education with an attractive savings product.”

    Kid’s Credit Union – Teaching Money Management & Savings
    Kid’s Credit Union is a ten-year project, educating participating students on the “Save First” philosophy that Southern Chautauqua FCU has adopted. Southern Chautauqua FCU established Kid’s Credit Union in 2005 and began in two elementary schools. The credit union now works with six area elementary schools, each of which is located in low income designated areas within the community. Southern Chautauqua FCU uses their own financial education curriculum in the schools and employees teach the lessons. They also donate piggy banks to get students started saving.

    One major difference in the Kid’s Credit Union program from setting up a standard savings account for these students is in the structuring of their account as certificates. A schedule is given to the participants so they see how their money will grow if they continue through the ten-year process. Every student receives a certificate of completion at the end of the school year. As the end of the school year nears reminders are given to the participating students of the amount in their accounts with the amount needed to achieve their goal for that year.

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