Over the past dozen years and out of more than 120 credit unions in Missouri, Arsenal has perennially ranked near the head of the class in terms of number of financial education presentations given and number of students reached, as reported by the National Youth Involvement Board.
In the past three-and-a-half years alone, the credit union has given 225 customized classroom presentations to 3,621 students at 22 St. Louis metro area schools, representing six public districts, two private academies and one trade school.
When teaching students, Jenny Remes, a certified educator in personal finance at Arsenal, provides valuable information on a range of financial topics, including saving money, earning money, spending wisely (needs vs. wants), setting goals, budgeting, understanding and using credit, and much more. Arsenal’s program enhances the lessons already being taught by teachers, while offering an opportunity for the students to hear from an experienced financial services professional who actively engages the students and provides them real-life perspectives on important financial topics.
During the spring 2016 school semester, the credit union introduced cutting-edge teaching tools at McCluer North High School in the Ferguson-Florissant school district (North St. Louis County) to help students make informed financial decisions. The interactive, web-based program uses simulations, avatars, gaming and adaptive-pathing to bring complex financial concepts to life for today’s digital generation.
More than 300 students at McCluer North enrolled in the EverFi Financial Literacy™ program and completed a total of 1,513 online learning modules on topics such as saving, banking, payment types, credit scores, higher education, renting vs. owning, insurance and taxes, consumer protection and investing. Collectively, they increased their scores on assessment tests by an average of 76 percent!
We’ve expanded our reach this school year and will sponsor this program at Affton High School, Ursuline Academy and Seckman High School, in addition to continuing the program at McCluer North.
In recognition of Arsenal’s youth financial education efforts over the past year, the credit union won a first-place 2016 Alphonse Desjardins Award from the Heartland Credit Union Association in July. Since 2004, Arsenal has won six awards in this statewide competition: four first-place awards and one honorable mention award for youth financial education, and an honorable mention award for adult financial education.