Enderby & District Credit Union (EDCU) has translated its Financial Fitness Series into a Central 1 inNOVAtion Award.
The Central 1 awards program, recognizing the spirit of innovation within Ontario- and B.C.-based credit unions, accepted 18 submissions from companies ranging from less than $100 million in assets to more than $15 billion.
EDCU, together with Investment Planning Counsel Inc. (IPC), also of Enderby, began presenting Financial Fitness to the Planning 10 class at A.L. Fortune Secondary School in 2010. They followed up with a “financial checkup” the next spring.
The program, highly praised by parents, students and school officials alike, was planned and delivered to 71 students, teaching the basics of budgeting, credit and debt, insurance, taxation, borrowing and investing. The program content was geared to follow the Grade 10 course material with a financial literacy component, and was accepted as part of the curriculum.
“We are pleased to recognize the innovative efforts of these winners,” said Linda Archer, senior vice-president, marketing and human resources, for Central 1. “These projects highlight the creativity and devotion to customer service that are hallmarks of the credit union systems in B.C. and Ontario.”
At the conclusion of the Financial Fitness program, students were provided with resources and links to student-friendly websites offering information on basic personal money management, financial planning and scholarship/bursary/grant information.
“The staff, management and board of directors are very honoured, proud and excited about this award,” said Ted Morrison, general manager of EDCU. “Planning, developing and implementing our vision for a financial literacy program at the high school level is something we had thought about for years, and looking back, I can say that it has been a rewarding experience for all of us.
“We thank A.L. Fortune Secondary for embracing our program, and parents, teachers and students for supporting us through the process, helping us make the Financial Fitness Series a reality.”
IPC representative Brad Case, who offers wealth management services at the EDCU branch, helped develop the investment and financial planning session presented to the students.
“We are proud to have been a part of the development and delivery of the Financial Fitness Series, and proud of this award,” said Case. “It’s the culmination of many months of planning and discussion, and it’s most gratifying to see such a prestigious national award going to (EDCU).”
Added A. L. Fortune principal Abbas El Gazzar: “Those students were positively enriched by their contribution and dedication to our school. We were so happy and proud to hear that the EDCU received such a prestigious award. I want you to know that around A. L. Fortune Secondary, the EDCU staff is profoundly appreciated.”
This fall, EDCU and IPC took the Financial Fitness Series one step further by bringing the program to other area schools. It has since evolved into a consistent district-wide program that covers all of the Planning 10 financial literacy learning outcomes, and addresses the importance of lifelong financial literacy skills.
To achieve this, they have collaborated with chartered accountant Larry Stankoven of Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union, VantageOne Credit Union, the Literacy Alliance of the Shuswap Society (LASS) and School District No. 83. Those involved hope this comprehensive approach presented by the three credit unions will become a template for future programs in the province.