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Extra Credit Union Wins Diamond Award for Financial Education Efforts

extraEach March for the past seven years, Extra Credit Union staff members have visited local second-grade classrooms and read a fun financial-literacy related children’s book to the students. The goal has increased from year to year, the latest aiming to read to and teach 2,000 children important financial lessons from the likes of The Berenstein Bears or Curious George.

And in the end, each student gets a free copy of the book to take home with the hopes of not only further encouraging a love for reading, but also having further discussions with their own family.

The past two years have been “extra” special, though, as staff members have had the honor of reading Extra Credit Union’s very own children’s book, “Jack and Lucy.” The book follows the savings adventure of a sibling duo and teaches important subjects like saving money, the difference between a credit card and debit card, long- and short-term goals, and what a credit union is. And the credit union’s latest addition of an accompanying activity book is sure to keep kids engaged while continuing to learn.

It is for these notable efforts that America’s Credit Unions recently awarded Extra Credit Union with a Diamond Award in the “Ongoing Event” category at its Marketing and Business Development Council Conference in Las Vegas. The annual award recognizes the best marketing campaigns in the credit union industry from the past year.

“Our staff works hard all year long — with March is Reading Month being one of our busiest times,” said Ruthann Varosi, VP of marketing for Extra Credit Union, who was on hand to accept the award at the conference. “We are so honored to be recognized for our financial literacy efforts that we are proud to see continuing to expand year after year.”

This past March, the credit union’s staff read to 1,151 students in 46 classes, at 16 schools and in 12 districts.

“Teaching financial literacy in the schools is not only a part of our legacy at Extra Credit Union, but also one of our biggest and most important efforts — so much so that we have staff dedicated to working in our local schools,” said Varosi. “We have a variety of lessons for youth in kindergarten all the way to seniors in high school. Our hope is that by introducing various lessons along the way, the youth in our community can head out into the real world with some important financial literacy lessons in their tool belt.”

America’s Credit Unions received 1,451 nominations from 168 organizations this year.

“We are absolutely delighted to honor Extra Credit Union and the other 167 winners with this level of recognition," said Lesli Bishop, Diamond Awards Chair and chief marketing officer at Family Savings Credit Union in Gadsden, Ala. "It's evident that these credit unions not only embody the spirit of the credit union movement but also propel it forward with their innovative approaches."

This year's Diamond Awards marked a milestone, celebrating 30 years of excellence in credit union marketing and setting a new record with over 350 awards distributed—underscoring the exceptional quality of marketing work being produced by credit unions nationwide.

“We are proud to be among such amazing credit unions across the nation who are working hard to make a real difference in their communities,” said Varosi.

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