MADISON, Wis. — Students at James Madison Memorial High School have been learning invaluable financial literacy skills right on the school grounds since Jan. 28, when a Summit Credit Union branch opened in the newly constructed “Welcome Center,” inside the school’s main entrance at 201 S. Gammon Rd., in Madison.  

 “The Summit Credit Union branch at Memorial has created an excellent opportunity
for students to learn more about financial literacy in a real-world experience,” said Bruce Dahmen, principal at Memorial High School.  “The branch has created a ‘buzz’ among students and staff and will ultimately benefit both the school educational environment and the community as a whole.”

“Summit is committed to financial education. Through this partnership, we have the opportunity to teach students good financial habits and build their financial confidence at a critical time in their lives,” said Kim Sponem, Summit Credit Union CEO/President.  “Students equipped with the knowledge of budgeting, saving and borrowing will be in a position to reach their dreams and create wealth for themselves, and their future families and communities.” 

The branch is staffed by Memorial students and supervised by Saran Ouk, a Summit Credit Union branch manager.  The branch is only open to Memorial students and staff. Open each school day during lunch hour, it offers standard financial services including checking and savings accounts, check cashing and loans.  Summit will also be conducting classroom presentations throughout the semester in support of the school’s financial literacy initiative.

The in-school branch is the second of its kind in Dane County, opening nearly two years to the day following the opening of the Summit Credit Union branch at La Follette High School, also in Madison, which opened on Jan. 25, 2011.   Both branches were originally conceptualized by Darrin Graham, business teacher at La Follette, and Dave Thomas, who was previously a business teacher at Memorial and now works at the Department of Public Instruction.  Graham and Thomas began brainstorming ideas to provide students with an interactive, hands-on financial education experience at the two schools in 2009.

About Summit Credit Union:

Established in 1935, Summit Credit Union is a member-owned financial cooperative open to anyone in Wisconsin.  Summit holds $1.8 billion in assets and has more than 125,000 members with a total of 23 locations throughout the Madison and Milwaukee areas.   For more information, visit www.summitcreditunion.com or call (608) 243-5000 or (800) 236-5560. 

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