(August 1, 2007 – Syracuse, NY) Syracuse Cooperative Federal Credit Union (Cooperative Federal) is excited to announce the release of a brand new financial literacy textbook for high school-aged youth called Life Skills: Planning Your Financial Future! After two years of developing lessons and teaching classes to students throughout the urban core of Syracuse, the CDCU has combined its best lessons into one unique book that is designed to be engaging and informative for students with different learning styles and abilities.
“We are four teachers who have a passion for sharing knowledge about how to ‘stack chop,’” explained the authors of the new financial literacy curriculum. The curriculum can be used with all youth, but is aimed specifically at youth with learning disabilities. “Stacking chop” means making money, according to the curriculum, and using this kind of vocabulary is an essential part of bridging the gap when working with students from different backgrounds and generations than the instructors.
The text, a nine-module guide for teachers that includes student activities, is the culmination of hundreds of hours of teaching financial literacy to over 500 youth in Syracuse. The four authors taught courses and revised the curriculum in a variety of settings, ranging from city public schools, to Boys and Girls Clubs, and foster care agencies.
Topics covered in the book include choosing a financial institution, tracking your expenses, interest, credit cards, planning for living on your own, consumer rights, predatory lending, and investments.
Not only does the book include lesson-plans and activities, but it also includes directions to build a “Fountain of Wealth” – a device that is central to the curriculum and provides a visual and kinesthetic reference for the Income, Expenses, Assets, and Liabilities chart used throughout the book. Like the Fountain, “some of the activities might seem out of the ordinary, but they help to keep youth engaged and to really understand the ideas presented” explained one of the authors, Thom Dellwo, Financial Education Coordinator at Cooperative Federal.
The innovative text is available for free, both in hard copy and digitally, to credit unions, community organizations, and nonprofits across the country. For more information or to receive a copy of the manual, contact Thom Dellwo, at email@example.com or (315)476-1452. Major financial support for this project was provided by the New York Credit Union Foundation, the National Credit Union Administration, the Deluxe Foundation and the National Credit Union Foundation.
Founded in 1982, Cooperative Federal is a community development credit union that serves over 2,500 low- and moderate-income households, community organizations, and microenterprises in Syracuse, NY. More than a financial institution, Cooperative Federal is part of the community-based movement to empower our neighborhoods and overcome the effects of decay, neglect, and discrimination. For more information visit: www.coopfed.org.
© 2007 National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions.