Just in time for National CU Youth Month and National Financial Literacy Month, Maine Credit Unions debuted a new Virtual Financial Fitness Fair (VFFF). This online simulation challenges students to balance a budget based on expenses an average adult faces each month. Because the experience is completed online, it can be done anywhere at any time.
With schools across the state continuing to follow remote and hybrid teaching models, the socially distant version of our in-person fair has caught the attention of educators looking to provide financial education. Since the VFFF launched in early April, a number of students have already participated in the experience. Everyone who participates is asked to provide feedback and the testimonials received so far have been overwhelmingly positive.
- “It was a very helpful resource for the subject matter I needed to go over in class. It was the perfect amount of instruction and explanation of a broad range of terms and skills.” – Teacher, Richmond High School
- “I thought that it was a great alternative to an in-person fair. The students that I had were quite into it.” – Teacher, Cony High School
- “Being able to budget my money effectively is so important. This also depends on what career I choose and what kind of student loans I have. I also need to develop a good credit score early on because that could hurt you with the bigger expenses that you might have.” – Student, Age 17
- “I believe the FFF is a very valuable process for kids to do. I like that it was done virtually, because it forces the kids to actually engage. Those who did it enjoyed it and felt that they had learned from it.” – Teacher, Cony High School
The in-person fairs remain quite popular and surveyed schools are looking forward to having credit unions back when it’s safe to do so. However, the virtual fair will continue to be utilized when the pandemic is over. 91.7% of teachers surveyed said they would still be interested in offering a virtual component even after credit union staff and volunteers can return to their schools.
“Being able to provide students with the insight and knowledge gained from an in-person fair in a virtual environment is exactly what we were hoping to achieve,” shared Jake Holmes, the League’s Financial Literacy Outreach Coordinator. “The positive feedback and growing interest in the fair are encouraging. I also want to give a special shout-out to the Norm Nolette Chapter of Credit Unions for their expertise and assistance in pulling this together.”
Credit unions are encouraged to share the remote learning tool on their websites and social media channels, and contact schools in their area to inform them about this free resource. If your credit union has questions about the VFFF, email Jake Holmes at email@example.com.