Mike Berenstain, Author, Illustrator, and President of Berenstain Enterprises has been named 2016 Financial Literacy Advocate by Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union Partners in Education for his commitment to and fervor for financial education. He will receive formal recognition at the annual Partners in Education Celebration, Thursday, April 28, 2016 at Drexelbrook Corporate Events Center in Drexel Hill, PA. More than 600 people will attend this year’s Celebration and tickets are still available.
Mike Berenstain is the son of Stan and Jan Berenstain, of the famed Berenstain Bears® series of books, which date back to 1962. Mike is credited as a creator of his family’s bear family beginning in 1995. He continued the Berenstain Bears with his mother following Stan’s death in 2005, and took over creation of the series after Jan’s death in 2012. A year prior, Franklin Mint Federal Credit Union (FMFCU) had entered into an exclusive agreement with Berenstain Enterprises to develop The Berenstain Bears Financial Literacy Program.
“Teaching kids about financial responsibility and literacy was always something dear to the hearts of my parents, Stan and Jan,” Mike said. “I think that growing up poor during the Depression gave them a mission to educate later generations about the values of hard work, thrift and financial prudence. As a parent myself, it’s a subject I’ve been very committed to, as well. So, it seems quite appropriate that the Berenstain Bears have become so identified with this subject and have taken on the role of financial educators.”
FMFCU created the subsidiary Credit Union Network for Financial Literacy (CUNFL) to operate the program and make it available to credit unions across the country. Mike wrote and illustrated the program’s signature piece The Berenstain Bears Visit the Credit Union (2015, CUNFL). This book is unique because it’s the only one of its kind featuring such high profile children’s characters but written exclusively for credit unions. Mike said, “The Berenstain Bears Visit the Credit Union is much more specific in its details than other books, since it deals with the special information unique to credit unions and the particular community environment that credit union members enjoy.”
“Mike’s advocacy of financial literacy has allowed thousands of children to learn strong money management skills,” said Rick Durante, Executive Director of FMFCU Partners in Education.
Mike is proud that his family’s brand is associated with the credit union philosophy of people helping people. “The positive reaction we’re experiencing is highly satisfying,” he said.
The annual Partners in Education Celebration is the Philadelphia region’s premier academic recognition event. Being honored along with Mike Berenstain are 2016 Delco Hi-Q Academic Competition Teams, the Delco Hi-Q Hall of Honor Inductee, recipients of the Delaware County Excellence in Teaching Award, John D. Unangst Scholarship Winners, and the Student-Operated Branch Council. FMFCU and the Delaware County Intermediate Unit (DCIU) are the event’s primary sponsors with support from dozens of organizations and individuals.
FMFCU Partners in Education is a 501(c)(3) organization whose mission is the propagation of financial literacy and education.