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Lot$a Mot$a

Credit Union :Suggested Pilot Programs
Assets :$1
Address :601 Pennsylvania Avenue, Suite 600 | Washington, DC 20004

Details :

User Qualifications :

  • For youth and teens from 5 to 13

Details:

Lot$a Mot$a is an Interactive Money Lab concept that grew from Filene Research Institute’s I3 group. While the concept has undergone two successful pilot tests to date, it remains on the burner ready for implementation by a credit union or group of credit unions and a supporting CUSO.

Lot$a Mot$a is designed to be a stand-alone center in a high-traffic area (particularly an area frequented by children) such as a shopping mall. Tom Anonson, EVP at Class Act FCU in Louisville was one of six team participants that developed the Lot$a Mot$a concept. He envisions it as a destination site where children learn financial literacy in a fun and interactive way. “Imagine a Chuck E. Cheese and a Build-a-Bear environment,” says Anonson. “These are places that engage children in interactive ways. Now imagine taking those same environments and plugging in the concept of money (and credit unions) in a kid-friendly atmosphere.”

In a Lot$a Mot$a lab children would play computer and other interactive games while learning about money and finances. As children learn, they can earn play money that can be used to purchase items such as piggy banks, calculators and money clips, but some can be exchanged for real money for a deposit into their credit union accounts. “Basically the same concept as Chuck E. Cheese but instead of walking out the door with a rubber ball after collecting 1,000 tickets, children will walk out with something they can use to help them save in the future,” says Anonson.

The concept was tested with fourth- and fifth-graders in 2007. A curriculum was developed for the pilots and a teaching tool, an ActivBoard, was used for one of the pilots. The ActivBoard proved especially appealing to the children where they could write answers to questions on a tablet that would then show up on a white board. Parents that viewed the presentation were very positive about the learning experience for their children.

Target Market :

The overall target market is young people between the ages of 5 and 13. Different curriculums will be necessary depending on the age group.

Marketing Strategy :

School systems can be a primary target market as many states require that financial education be taught but schools lack the resources to provide such training. School field trips could be offered to the Lot$a Mot$a site or there could be after school programs at the site, noted Anonson.

Additional Information :

A business plan and marketing designs have already been developed by the team for the Lot$a Mot$a concept. Anonson envisions five or six credit unions in a locality teaming together to form a CUSO to provide the destination site. Whereas there will be an initial investment to get the site up and running, the concept calls for revenue generation from two sources. First, Lot$a Mot$a will be fee-based. During the pilot tests, parents were asked if they would be willing to pay to have their children learn and interact at the sites and they indicated a willingness to do so. Second, there may be opportunities to partner with school districts to provide mandated financial education and the CUSO could benefit by meeting this mandate.

Anonson describes the possibilities of the destination site as a shared-branch for kids, where children could actually deposit money into their credit union account right at the Lot$a Mot$a branch. As part of the curriculum, children learn about credit unions and based on field of membership requirements, they could be directed to a credit union that they could join. The benefit for credit unions is new and younger members.

For a copy of the Lot$a Mot$a business plan, click on the Resource tab under Youth. For additional information about the money lab concept, contact Tom Anonson, EVP, Class Act FCU at 502-212-3149 or tanonson@classact.org.