Over 4,000 Students Receive Hands-On Financial Literacy from Credit Unions During 2018/2019 School Year

Financial Reality Fair Program Reaches Second Major Milestone 

HIGHTSTOWN, N.J. – New Jersey credit unions reached a record 4,075 students through the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation’s Financial Reality Fair program during the 2018/2019 school year, a new milestone for the hands-on financial literacy program. Nine credit unions and the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation sponsored and hosted 25 Reality Fair events at middle schools, high schools, and college campuses across the state from October 2018 through June 2019. 

This is the second major milestone the program is celebrating this school year. In March, the program celebrated sponsoring its 100th Reality Fair.

2019 Reality Fair MilestoneWEB“Two significant milestones in one school year… I couldn’t be more proud of the program and the impact it’s had on the students in our state,” said Foundation Chairman Michael Hou. “Financial literacy is at the core of our mission at the Foundation, and it’s at the core of the credit union movement as a whole. Through the Reality Fair program here in New Jersey, we are empowering our credit unions to educate thousands of young consumers in their communities.”

To help credit unions offset a portion of the cost of hosting a Reality Fair, the New Jersey Credit Union Foundation has grants available for New Jersey Credit Union League member credit unions. With the demand for the program increasing, the Board last year approved an increase of the number of grants available to New Jersey credit unions from two to four grants per school year. The Board accepts grant applications from New Jersey credit unions for 50% of the cost to hold a Reality Fair.

“This program is the ‘people helping people’ philosophy at its finest,” said Foundation Secretary/Treasurer and New Jersey Credit Union League President/CEO David Frankil. “The League and Foundation are proud to help our member credit unions educate young people before they step out into the ‘real world’ through this popular program.” 

“From developing the materials and hosting our first ‘Fair’ at our Convention nine years ago to spread the word amongst our credit unions, I have seen this program grow and flourish,” said Foundation Executive Director Marissa Anema, who helped build and launch the program in 2010. “Education is a passion of mine and I believe it is the cornerstones to success. I am proud of our state for mandating financial literacy education for middle and high school students and am thrilled that our credit unions have used the Reality Fair program to assist schools in meeting these standards, giving thousands of students hands-on, experiential learning that will last a lifetime.”

The New Jersey Credit Union Foundation’s Reality Fair program has now reached over 15,600 students through 111 Fairs since the program’s inception back in 2010.