Gardiner FCU is deeply committed to providing financial education to area school children and adults. Before the pandemic, credit union staff frequently visited schools and shared interactive content to help students establish budgeting and saving skills. The credit union also hosted evening workshops for adults on topics ranging from basic budgeting, to estate planning, and avoiding scams.
Following a workshop one evening before COVID-19, Kelly Marie, Gardiner FCU’s Marketing Coordinator, was asked, “what was in it for the credit union” to host these events. She replied, “If any of you have learned something new and found that it has helped you in any way, that is what we get out of it. Knowing you have benefited and are happier, or better off for it, is all we need.”
Because the pandemic has transformed education, Gardiner FCU has found new ways to continue providing valuable financial literacy outreach. To help local students, the credit union launched a new YouTube channel called GFCU4kids and posted worksheets online for students to complete. This online program can be used by teachers in the classroom or parents at home.
“The one positive thing about not being able to go into the classrooms is that I now can finally be in more than one place at the same time,” said Marie.
On its website, gardinerfcu.org, new links and features have been added to pages targeting specific age groups and include interactive games and animated videos. To help replace the in-person workshops tailored to adults, a new page has been added to the credit union’s website. The page offers tips and resources for college-bound students and their parents, financial advice for seniors, and more. All of these pages are available under the Products & Services tab.
The credit union also announced a partnership with ZOGO to make an app available to students, teachers, members, and the broader community. The app teaches financial education in short segments followed by questions. App users earn points for answering questions correctly. Points are redeemable for free gift cards to popular retailers like iTunes and Amazon. Gardiner FCU is the first institution in Maine to make the app available.
Hats off to the Gardiner FCU team for finding innovative ways to continue making financial literacy an important priority!