McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union

April 21, 2011 09:34 ET

New Jersey Teachers Get High Marks at McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union Financial Literacy Seminars

Statewide Private/Public Partnership Aims at Lowering Financial Illiteracy Among High School Students

EAST WINDSOR, NJ--(Marketwire - Apr 21, 2011) - "I was very impressed with the financial workshop. As a seasoned educator of 25 years, I learned a lot about the impact of financial literacy on students. I'll definitely be sharing with my students and colleagues in the education field." This was New Jersey Hightstown High School teacher Amy Kramer's comment after having attended the McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union Financial Literacy Series seminar. The first session took place at the credit union on Wednesday, April 6 and was repeated on Tuesday, April 12.

To combat the growing financial literacy problem among high school students, McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union collaborated with the New Jersey Department of Education, the New Jersey Coalition for Financial Education, and the McGraw-Hill Schools Education Group to offer its inaugural Financial Literacy Series to teachers throughout New Jersey. The events were attended by 35 education professionals from over 30 schools and organizations.

April was declared Financial Literacy Month earlier this year by President Obama, who stated, "While our government is taking decisive action to promote financial stability, our Nation's prosperity will ultimately depend on our willingness as individuals to empower ourselves and our families with financial knowledge."

McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union's President and CEO Shawn Gilfedder and the credit union's Chief Financial Officer Joseph Conners conducted the seminars, which were planned in response to recent studies by the Jumpstart Coalition and other organizations indicating that the percentage of students who had a basic understanding of financial matters dipped to 48.3 percent in 2008. The report also noted that "most students lack the simple skills to balance a checkbook and do not understand the basic principles of earning, spending, saving and investing."

Through the efforts of McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union and others around New Jersey, Gilfedder sees an opportunity to empower the educators who will be teaching finance to young adults. "This is a wonderful example of the state and the credit union uniting to educate teachers, not just with textbook knowledge, but with practical examples of financial literacy. We are equipping teachers with the ability to make a huge impact in their students' lives."

The seminars, which fulfill the New Jersey 9.2 standards in financial literacy and education required by all schools come September, provided educators with information on financial markets, building and maintaining consumer credit, calculating interest, loans, even the various consumer protections available to consumers, among other important financial issues. Gilfedder shared the hidden industry secrets of how many financial institutions profit from consumers' lack of financial knowledge. Armed with this insight, educators will be better able to reverse the decline in financial literacy scores.

"I enjoy teaching personal finance and this seminar reinforces my beliefs and has given me some new tips and advice to bring to the classroom," said Eileen Plusnarski of John P. Stevens High School in Edison, NJ. "I appreciate the evening, enjoyed myself, and I'll definitely be back for the next seminar."

State educators will receive up to four hours of continuing education credit for attending. The next part in the series is scheduled for Wednesday, May 4 and will be repeated on Tuesday, May 10. Teachers who didn't attend part one may register for one of the upcoming seminars by visiting, contacting Joy Beans at 1-800-226-6428, extension 6508 or

McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union, a member-owned cooperative, is one of the strongest, most progressive financial institutions in the region, offering a full range of banking, investing, and insurance services to over 16,000 members worldwide. McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union began serving the employees of the McGraw-Hill Companies in 1935, one year after the Federal Credit Union Act's creation. Today, McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union serves the employees of over 100 companies, including Radio City Music Hall, Emblem Health, New Jersey Resources, Gensler, Depository Trust and Clearing Corp., and the National Hockey League.

Documents and/or Photos available for this release:

McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union President and CEO, Shawn Gilfedder, speaks on today's financial climate and the state of modern financial institutions during part one of the Financial Literacy Series. The seminar provided continuing education credits for New Jersey public school teachers.

Over 30 of New Jersey's education professionals attended the seminar, "How Financial Institutions Make Money With Your Money" at McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union in East Windsor, NJ.

McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union Chief Financial Officer, Joe Conners, informs teachers how to read a financial statement during Part One of the two-part Financial Literacy Series held last week at McGraw-Hill Federal Credit Union's office in East Windsor, New Jersey.

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