The Berenstain Bears Go To O Bee Credit Union

In Thurston, Pierce, and Lewis counties, children’s financial literacy is going to the bears—the Berenstain Bears®. O Bee Credit Union this month launched an innovative financial literacy program from the Credit Union Network for Financial Literacy (CUNFL), which features the treasured children’s book characters.

“Everyone loves the Berenstain Bears,” said James Collins, CEO of O Bee. “This emotional connection is a gateway to real financial education for our younger members. How can we expect our children to succeed in life when they cannot understand the basic financial principals they will need?

Collins continued, “Using an iconic symbol such as the Berenstain Bears to teach basic financial is only a beginning step to helping educate an entire generation.”

The Berenstain Bears® Financial Literacy Program provides young members valuable financial education. The iconic bears teach youngsters and their families the fundamental financial strategies of “Save, Share, Spend, Earn.”

CUNFL, a CUSO of Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union, commissioned 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.

CUNFL is the publisher and distributor. Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union President and CEO John D. Unangst conceptualized the book and played an integral role in its development along with Rick Durante, National Director of The Berenstain Bears Financial Literacy Program. 

“Our researched found no other children’s book of this caliber featuring credit unions,” Durante said. “The Berenstain Bears have been around for decades, so their appeal is multi-generational and they bring credibility to our program and participating credit unions.” 

The Berenstain Bears® Financial Literacy Program was developed in response to the growing need for financial education geared toward young children. 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.

O Bee has exclusive rights to offer the program in Thurston, Pierce, and Lewis counties. To learn more about the program, visit this page on the O Bee website and this one on the CUNFL website.

Questions about this story? Contact James Pearson: 206.340.4790,

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