IQ Credit Union Ramps up its Online Financial Education Resources for Kids and Adults


April is Financial Literacy Month, and across the country, credit unions are emphasizing the importance of financial literacy by providing valuable resources, programs, and initiatives to help members confidently manage their money. According to data collected through the Community Impact Reporting Tool, Northwest credit unions provided financial education for nearly 130,000 members in Idaho, Oregon, and Washington.

iQ Credit Union, based in Vancouver, Washington, has made financial education accessible for its members for a long time. iQ was founded by a small group of teachers in 1940 with a shared mission of helping educators reach their financial goals. Eighty years later, teaching financial literacy to members of all ages remains a top priority.

Anthem sat down with iQ’s Education Coordinator, Tim Walley, find out more about the credit union’s various resources and how it is adapting its programs amid COVID-19.

Q. How is iQ pivoting its financial programs to an online format amid COVID-19?

A. As we all know, adaptation and flexibility is the name of the game right now, which is why iQ is quickly adapting and clearing a trail to a digital financial experience for our members. With our team working remotely, we are quickly and excitedly working to produce online courses and activities for kids to replicate what we were doing in the classrooms. This includes downloadable PDFs, informational videos, interactive games, and coloring pages! Not to be forgotten are adults — we are providing courses for them as well! They will cover a variety of subjects such as credit, loans, budgeting, and identity protection.

Q. What financial education resources does IQ offer its members?

A. iQ provides a variety of resources for members to navigate their financial journey. We offer lots of printed and downloadable material to members and the community — like our popular Financial Survival Guide. We have a blog on our website that provides tips for financial well-being and information on navigating finances at every stage of your life. However, a vast majority of our educational offerings are provided through in-person workshops and community events, such as:

  • Elementary, middle, and high school classroom presentations
  • Financial Reality Fairs
  • Financial Survival Escape Room
  • Budgets and Brews
  • Credit Camps
  • Pumpkin Spice and Financial Advice
  • Lunch & Learns
  • Juvenile detention center presentations
  • Produce Pals

Q. Tell us a little bit about the Financial Footings program.

A. The Financial Footings program is the result of our partnership with Financial Beginnings. They are the creators of the curriculum, and we license it from them and present those materials to the community. Financial Footings is geared toward children K-6, with age-appropriate curricula and activities that are both engaging and informational, such as setting goals, understanding needs and wants, and working within a budget.

Children attend a Financial Footings session at Kazoodles Toy Store in Vancouver, WA, in 2019.

Q. What is the Lemonade Day program and how can kids participate online?

A. Lemonade Day is a nationwide program that has been brought to Clark County by the Greater Vancouver Chamber of Commerce. iQ Credit Union has joined in as the “Main Squeeze” presenting sponsor. The focus of Lemonade Day is to teach financial literacy through experiential, hands-on lessons in the classroom and out in the community as kids start their first business — selling lemonade! Topics that are covered include goal setting, budgeting, revenue/cost analysis, and even creating a business plan.

Due to COVID-19 and schools closing, the Chamber and iQ have adapted quickly to move this program digitally. iQ is making each session available through videos on YouTube with downloadable content that continues the lessons at home. While the actual Lemonade Day has been postponed until later this year, the hope is that families and students in our community can take advantage of the financial education available now.

Q. What other special programs does iQ offer its younger members?

A. We would also like to highlight our Campus Branch program and the interns we hire from that program. High school students are taught best practices while operating a branch in their high school. They learn how to perform member transactions, balance a cash drawer, work with members, and learn credit union policies and procedures. They build on-the-job people skills that can be transferred to any profession they choose to go into. These students also have the chance to become paid high school interns at one of our branches. Currently we have campus branches in seven local high schools. 

Editor’s Note: Want to share some financial literacy resources your credit union is offering members this month? Email us!

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