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Bear-nanza: One of Many Ways to Promote Financial Literacy

Brother, Sister give hugs
Children at Woodlyn Elementary School, Ridley, PA, hug Sister Bear and Brother Bear as they leave their special school assembly. The special visit was their prize for winning the FMFCU School Spirit contest.

The Berenstain Bears Financial Literacy Program is as flexible as the imagination. There are many ways to bring financial literacy to your community using the beloved Berenstain Bears.

Although school is out, Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union is keeping financial literacy alive in their community with Bear-nanza, a series of open house events featuring story time, activities, and the huggable Brother Bear and Sister Bears characters. FMFCU is welcoming members and potential members to Bear Country Credit Union, an 1100 square foot interactive financial literacy center, where children 10 and under will be introduced to the sound money management concept Save, Share, Spend, Earn and have an opportunity to role play as credit union employees.

The Berenstain Bears attract a lot of attention. Having associated FMFCU with financial literacy because of The Berenstain Bear, a group of YMCAs requested financial literacy lessons from the Credit Union for their summer campers. FMFCU set into motion a customized curriculum with lessons and activities for each age level. The Berenstain Bears Financial Literacy Program will be used for children in Kindergarten through Third Grade, and children in grades four through six will go through a series of lessons that include Money 101, Needs & Wants, and Creating a Business. What an excellent way to engage and serve the community, living the credit union philosophy of “People helping people.”

Synergy Federal Credit Union is proof that financial literacy can often be the differentiator. Synergy has been named Credit Union of the Year by the National Association of Federal Credit Unions (NAFCU) and will be recognized the week of June 14 at the annual NAFCU conference.

O Bee Credit Union partners with member organizations to award young members who actively use the lessons they’ve learned through The Berenstain Bears Financial Literacy Program to build their nest egg. When Cub Account holders make a deposit, they get a participating vendor coupon for a “Beary fun treat” compliments of the Credit Union.

Who knew bears play in the desert? Pima Federal Credit Union is actively launching its financial literacy community outreach and has held several events featuring Brother Bear and Sister Bear. Providence Federal Credit Union will debut The Berenstain Bears Financial Literacy Program in the Portland, Oregon area at the start of the 2016-2017 school year.

It comes as no surprise that The Berenstain Bears will be spotted in more corners of the U.S. later this year and next. A slew of documented studies show a need for financial literacy in the United States, and many report the best success comes from starting young.