The Need For Financial Literacy Education
Each year, the President, Governor, and various elected bodies and officials declare April as Financial Literacy Month. Like Junior Achievement, the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association, Pennsylvania Credit Union Foundation, and the more than 500 credit unions located throughout Pennsylvania are actively involved in providing financial education programs in virtually every community in Pennsylvania. Through programs like Junior Achievement and many others, Pennsylvania’s youth are being exposed to financial concepts and principles beginning as early as pre-kindergarten.
The need for financial education has been firmly documented by many organizations. To mention one, the national Jump$tart survey of high school students has repeatedly shown that most kids are poorly positioned to handle the complex myriad of financial products, services, and emerging technologies that they will need to master to overcome financial pitfalls and develop personal wealth.
For those of us who are practitioners in financial education, April provides a spotlight for us to showcase the work we are doing every day to improve the financial lives of consumers. While awareness of the need for financial education has improved over the past decade or so, the need to get financial programming into schools and community-based programs as early as possible is as important today as it’s ever been. Pennsylvania’s credit unions will continue to work tirelessly to provide financial education to members and to the communities in which we operate. We are proud to be a strong supporter of Junior Achievement, whose goals for increasing financial literacy and economic education for Pennsylvania’s youth are critical to the financial success of the next generation.
I personally have been involved in financial education for more than 25 years, have taught the Junior Achievement curriculum in the classroom, participated in Young Men’s and Women’s Futures Symposiums, and been engaged with many organizations and programs providing financial education to consumers of all ages. If you have not volunteered your time to teach a financial education seminar, class, or workshop, I urge you to do so. You will find it personally fulfilling while making a real difference in the lives of those you touch.
— Submitted by guest blogger: Mike Wishnow, Senior VP of Communications & Marketing at the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association