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Educational Systems FCU & Point Breeze CU Win CUNA National Awards

Wed, Mar 8, 2017

Columbia, Maryland

Educational Systems FCU: First Place Louise Herring Philosophy-in-Action Award ($250M - $1B in assets) Summer Pay Program

Educational Systems FCU Bridges Teachers’ Summer Pay Gap Fans of George Gershwin’s opera “Porgy and Bess” recognize “summertime and the livin’ is easy”—but they also know “it ain’t necessarily so.” Especially if they’re educators who don’t receive paychecks during the summer. Educational Systems Federal Credit Union created its Summer Pay account to bridge that gap.

The Greenbelt, Md., credit union serves 87,000 members in seven school systems and three community colleges, and is committed to delivering products and services meeting the educators’ needs. Educational Systems Federal created its Summer Pay account at the request of one of the school systems in its field of membership that sought to help its 10-month paid educators save for the summer. These educators, without a paycheck during the months of July and August, often relied on credit cards and payday loans to meet their expenses.

The Summer Pay concept is age-old: Save now, so you can spend later. The account makes it easy and attractive to do so. Educational Systems members enrolled in the program use direct deposit each pay period to deposit funds into their Summer Pay accounts. Members can increase or decrease their contribution at any time during the year, but cannot transfer funds into or out of this account via the online branch or at the teller window. In the summer, the credit union distributes the money into a member’s checking or savings account every two weeks.

To encourage participation and maximize members’ savings, the Summer Pay account offers an attractive annual percentage yield that is higher than a four-year certificate. By paying themselves first during the school term, these members receive the rewards of their thrift during the summer. Once they go back to school, Summer Pay automatically starts members saving again.

Point Breeze CU: Honorable Mention, Dora Maxwell Social Responsibility Recognition Award
Partnership with Arts Every Day

Following the unrest in Baltimore in 2015 that emerged from the death of Freddie Gray in police custody, Point Breeze Credit Union partnered with the local nonprofit organization Arts Every Day to engage children in the affected neighborhoods in a meaningful, constructive way.

To heal wounds in the community and to break down the barriers of equity and access to educational development, boost student participation, and increase academic retention rates, the credit union sponsored large-scale, legacy art installations in two Baltimore City Public Schools.

About 400 high-need, low-income elementary- and middle school-age children assisted in constructing lasting art pieces that reflect their collaboration and creativity: four stained glass panels within the library of one school and a 12-foot mural and mosaic outside the cafeteria at another.