NCUF Grantee Wins Desjardins Youth Financial Literacy Award

A Foundation Grant at Work

A Foundation Grant at Work

Acadia Federal Credit Union was presented with the Desjardins Youth Financial Literacy Award at the 2012 Maine Credit Union League Annual Convention. The Awards Committee chose Acadia FCU for this award based on their outstanding leadership in financial education as well as their commitment to raise awareness and marshal resources on behalf of youth in the state of Maine.

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David Desjardins, President/CEO of Acadia Federal Credit Union, is presented with the Desjardins Youth Financial Literacy Award by Richard Dupuis, Chairman of the Maine Credit Union League Board.

Youth Financial Literacy has been a topic of concern around the country for many years. In response to this national crisis, Acadia Federal Credit Union (AFCU) partnered with the University of Maine at Fort Kent (UMFK) last year to form the AFCU – UMFK Financial Literacy Partnership. This collaboration has created a comprehensive program dedicated to educating youth about the importance of financial planning at key points throughout a youngster’s development. This partnership is supported by a Financial Education Grant from the National Credit Union Foundation (NCUF) that helps subsidize the implementation of activities, presentations and resource development for youth financial education.

After several months of research, planning and training, credit union and university representatives descended on second grade classrooms throughout the St. John Valley area to deliver the Benny Banks program. Students were introduced to an engaging curriculum of stories, pictures and interactive lessons to teach them about saving money and planning for long and short term spending goals. Positive feedback from teachers was reflected by outstanding evaluation summaries while anecdotes from students and parents proved that this program is informative in a fun way.

Sixth grade students have also been a target cohort for the AFCU – UMFK Financial Literacy Partnership, but with a very different approach than their elementary school counterparts. As part of the Dollars & $ense Fair, these students were transported to the magical land of MoneyIsland, which was held at the University of Maine at Fort Kent in April. They enthusiastically participated in activities that educated them about financial goal setting, college planning, and earning, saving and spending their “hard-earned cash.” With hands-on tasks, these sixth graders were able to tangibly understand the importance of planning for their financial futures.

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Sixth-graders learn how to write a check as part of the Paradise Paycheck activity at the Dollars & $ense Fair held in April at the University of Maine at Fort Kent.

At the Maine Credit Union League Annual Convention, both David Desjardins, President/CEO of Acadia FCU, and Scott Voisine, Dean of Community Education at UMFK noted that the first prize recognition of the Desjardins Youth Financial Literacy Award is well-deserved, but humbling to the Financial Literacy Partnership between Acadia Federal Credit Union and the University of Maine at Fort Kent. They expressed their appreciation, but also stated that they hope this project encourages additional organizations across the country to collaborate and prioritize youth financial literacy education. Desjardins and Voisine believe it is the only way to ensure the nation’s future financial stability.

A Foundation Grant at Work
NCUF grants are made possible by supporters of the Foundation and the Community Investment Fund (CIF), an award-winning system of investments that help credit unions earn dividends while donating to national and state community development programs.

This “Grant at Work” is part of a series highlighting NCUF grantees making a positive impact in their community and empowering consumers to achieve financial freedom through credit unions.



About the National Credit Union Foundation (ncuf.coop):
The National Credit Union Foundation is the US credit union movement’s primary national philanthropic program provider, fundraiser and grant-maker. Through NCUF grants and programs, credit unions provide widespread financial education, create greater access to affordable financial services, and empower more consumers to save, build assets, and own homes.

NCUF is funded primarily by investments in the award-winning Community Investment Fund (CIF) and by generous Supporters led by the Credit Union National Association and CUNA Mutual Group. All NCUF donors provide support that empowers NCUF and state credit union foundations to make financial freedom achievable through credit unions.

Description: Better Business Bureau Accredited Charity sealThe National Credit Union Foundation is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization. NCUF continues to earn the Better Business Bureau seal of approval as an “Accredited Charity” for meeting all 20 BBB Wise Giving Alliance Standards for national charities.