Co-op Credit Union has launched The Berenstain Bears® Financial Literacy Program, a financial education program designed by the Credit Union Network for Financial Literacy (CUNFL). This program was developed in response to the growing need for financial education for young children and is geared toward children ages 10 and under. Age-appropriate activities promote financial literacy and provide credit unions with a means of community outreach. The program includes associated lesson plans and activities developed by early childhood education experts. The CUNFL commissioned the author Mike Berenstain to write “The Berenstain Bears Visit the Credit Union,” a children’s storybook in the Berenstain Bears series. Unlike other books in the series, “The Berenstain Bears Visit the Credit Union” is not available for retail sale. The storyline follows the beloved bear cubs, brother and sister Bear, on a school field trip to a credit union branch, where they learn how to save their money and watch it grow.
During April and May, credit union employees made visits to area classrooms and utilized “The Berenstain Bears Visit the Credit Union” story to teach children the money management concepts of Share, Save, Spend, and Earn that are explained in the book. The book also highlights the benefits of being a credit union member.
Kayla Reiffenberger, President/CEO of Co-op Credit Union says, “Financial education is such an integral part of the credit union philosophy. Our credit union is excited to be sponsoring such a great program. The employees have really enjoyed going into the schools to promote wise money management with young learners and provide education on what makes the credit union a great place to start saving.”
The credit union has also began offering a new youth savings account called the Cub Account for children ages 10 and under. When a child opens a Cub Account they will receive a copy of “The Berenstain Bears Visit the Credit Union” and an official membership card. There are also rewards for making deposits in their Cub Accounts to encourage them to come in and experience the credit union.
Co-op Credit Union’s participation in “The Berenstain Bears Financial Literacy Program” is funded in part by a grant from the Minnesota Credit Union Foundation.
The Co-op Credit Union is a full service financial institution that serves people that live, work or worship in Chippewa, Swift, Yellow Medicine, Lincoln, Lyon, Lac qui Parle, Kandiyohi, and Renville counties. The Co-op Credit Union has offices in Montevideo, Benson, Canby and Willmar.