Financial Education Roundtables to Create Resource Model for Credit Unions

More than 65,000 people—including toddlers, middle school students and those nearing retirement age—benefitted from financial education presentations made by Northwest credit union professionals last year. Some of the educators’ work is highlighted in the Community Impact reports released this month by the Northwest Credit Union Association (NWCUA).

Still, 48 out of 50 credit unions responding to a regional survey last year noted barriers such as availability of presentation materials, difficulty building relationships with schools and time constraints.

The NWCUA’s Credit Union Financial Education Committee is providing solutions to those barriers, by hosting two Best Practice Roundtable events this summer—one in Federal Way June 25 and the other in Eugene July 10. The roundtables are made possible by a grant from the Northwest Credit Union Foundation (NWCUF). Credit union educators and community outreach specialists are invited to register online.

The agenda for the more immediate Federal Way workshop has been finalized and includes a mock “Financial Reality Fair” during which attendees will learn how to organize an interactive budgeting exercise for students in their communities. Students select a career, research the starting salary and come prepared to navigate a maze of necessary and luxury purchases such as food, transportation, clothing and entertainment. They must leave with balanced budgets.

“If a credit union hosts a Financial Reality Fair in their community, it is a real value for the students and we’ve found very fulfilling for the credit union staff, too,” said Kasey Rockwell, Director of Outreach Programs for the NWCUA. Rockwell recently organized Reality Fairs during state capitol advocacy days in Olympia and Salem. “It is probably the most effective one-day event you could sponsor that students would remember and benefit from for the rest of their lives.”

Noted credit union educators Teresa Shivley from Gesa and Danette LaChapelle form iQ, will share successful strategies for in-school credit union branches.

Also featured on the agenda is Linda Jekel, Director of Credit Unions for the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions (DFI). Jekel is instrumental in making the Financial Education Public Private Partnership available to credit union educators and classrooms. Her topic is, “Helping Teachers with Financial Education.”

Terry Belcoe, CEO of North Coast Credit Union, will share the vision of “One Community, One Voice,” a program pooling resources of financial institutions and community organizations in Bellingham, to help under-banked consumers build assets. In a related topic, a panel of credit union educators will share models credit unions can use to reach adults through community events.

Details for the Eugene roundtable are being finalized and will be featured in an upcoming Anthem article.


Questions? Contact Lynn Heider: 503.350.2225,

Posted in Events, NWCUA.