During the back to school shopping season in 2019, The National Retail Federation expects families of children from elementary to high school to spend $696.70 and families with college students to spend $976.78.  Total back to school spending is expected to reach $80.7 billion. Help your credit union members plan and budget for this expensive time of year with a prepaid card. Suggest these six simple back to school shopping tips:

  • Take stock of supplies already in your home: Have you unpacked the kids backpacks from the end of last school year?  Reuse last year’s supplies that are in good shape. Only buy what they actually need.
  • Hit the dollar store first for the essentials and save big.  Also consider buying for the mid-year restock while prices are low during back to school sales.
  • Shop on sales tax holidays. Fifteen states offer tax free sale days gearing up for back-to-school.  Check to see if your state offers a tax-free shopping day for school supplies.
  • Host an end of the summer fashion show and ask the children to create ten outfits from the clothes they have to prepare for the first two weeks of school.  Then, if it’s important to you and the children, consider getting one new “first day of school” outfit.
  • After taking stock of the essentials already in your home, supplies and clothes, create a back to school budget.  Load a prepaid card with the amount that fits into your budget to be sure not to overspend. Take into consideration school fees, beginning of the school year fundraisers, and extra-curricular startup costs
  • Shop without the children.  Print the school supply list and hit the store on your way home from work one evening.  A kid free shopping experience is faster and less stressful. Plus, when you arrive home with several bags of supplies for the children – they will be elated!

Northeast Community Credit Union was once again voted Best Credit Union in the reader's choice logoReader’s Choice Contest of the Elizabethton Star.

Thank you to everyone who voted us Best Credit Union again this year!

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Northeast Community Credit Union is a primary sponsor of the Elizabethton City Schools Betsycheck presentation Book Bus.

NCCU donates regularly to the Betsy Book Bus to help support the mission of getting more books into the hands of young readers in Elizabethton. The Betsy Book Bus travels to 13 different neighborhoods in Elizabethton on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays during the summer. The Bus stops along the way and gives out free books to children, from newborns to high school students.

“Kids get very excited when they see the bus coming into their neighborhood,” said Program Director Carla Whiles. “The bus is really colorful, and the shelves are full of all kinds of books. I think knowing that it’s coming into their neighborhood to bring them books they get to keep forever definitely gets kids excited.”

Several students experience a summer academic slide in literacy, and that can be because of a lack of access to reading material or a lack of interest in the books they have. This program is designed to build confidence in reading that will carry over into the school year.

The Betsy Book Bus was launched in the summer of 2018 as part of the Governor’s Books from Birth Foundation. In 2018, the Betsy Book Bus distributed more than 2,300 books to families in Elizabethton.

Visit www.facebook.com/betsybookbus for more information on the Book Bus’s schedule and routes.

 

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Seth Miller, Data Operations Manager, of Northeast Community Credit Union, presentscheck presentation the Helping Teachers Teach grant check to Tyler Chambers, Chemistry and Physics teacher at Cloudland High School.

Chambers applied for the Helping Teachers Teach grant to purchase hot plates for his classrooms to use in experiments. The hot plates will replace Bunsen burners, which use live flames and are rarely used in classroom settings now.

“This will enhance the students’ learning experiences,” Chambers said. “They’ll be using lab equipment that is more efficient and what students will use in college.”

Northeast Community Credit Union awards $300 every month to a classroom to be utilized for classroom needs, classroom activities, and academic enrichment. Helping Teachers Teach is open to teachers within Carter, Johnson, Unicoi, Sullivan and Washington counties who are members of Northeast Community Credit Union. Area teachers may become members at any NCCU location and can download the grant application on the credit union’s website: www.BeMyCU.org.

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Northeast Community Credit Union donated $500 to AdaptoPlay to provide accessible and check presentationinclusive play and toys for all children.

AdaptoPlay serves children with disabilities and their families. They are a non-profit, all volunteer program that strives to create an inclusive and independent play environment. AdaptoPlay takes traditional toys, such as ride-on vehicles, and modifies them to meet the individual child’s needs.

“Our vision is a future where play is without boundaries and inclusive for all,” Allie Bourassa said. “We believe that play matters and that every child deserves to play. Our goal is to provide play activities through adapted toys, mobility devices and recreational and sporting activities.”

AdaptoPlay serves children with disabilities from spinal cord injuries, traumatic brain injuries, strokes, cerebral palsy, amputations, muscular dystrophy, neuromuscular disease, deafness/hearing impairments, blindness/vision impairment and others.

For more information, call 423-930-9114 or visit www.adaptoplay.org

 

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Northeast Community Credit Union donated $300 to the Watauga Lake Sailing Club to helpcheck presentation sponsor the upcoming Veteran’s Regatta on June 8 at 12 p.m.

The Club treats local veterans to a day on the lake. They can either help crew on a sailboat or take a ride on a pontoon.

“We work with the Mountain Home VA in Johnson City. They bus the veterans over to us,” said Anita Remme, Watauga Lake Sailing Club. “And all veterans are welcome to participate, but they must contact us in advance to arrange participation since we have limited space on the boats.”

No sailing experience is necessary for those who wish to participate in the regatta. After the regatta, Remme said the club hosts a celebration with live music and provides dinner to all participating veterans.

The goal of the regatta is to introduce veterans to sailing as an outlet to help with whatever injuries or illnesses they face. The event also allows veterans a chance to socialize with their comrades as well as meet new people in the community.

 

Northeast Community Credit Union recently held a ribbon cutting for the new Unaka Branch, a student-run branch located inside Unaka High School.

The Unaka Branch offers an innovative education experience for UHS students. The in-school branch is designed to familiarize students with the proper way to handle money and to provide hands-on learning experiences.

In honor of the ribbon cutting, several of Carter County’s legislators and local politicians visited the school to see the branch in action. U.S. Representative Phil Roe, State Representative John Holsclaw, Carter County commissioners and Carter County school board members all attended the ribbon cutting ceremony.

Representative Phil Roe praised the initiative for providing students with invaluable hands-on education experiences. Roe told the students this type of education was extremely important to help them safeguard their finances as they grew older and continued their education.

“Student loan debt is at an all-time high,” Roe said.

He continued that student loans are easier to get, but that it didn’t mean students should get them. He encouraged students to explore other options, like scholarships and grants instead of going hundreds of thousands of dollars into debt.

“Some young people have not been able to purchase their first home because they have gotten so deeply in debt with student loans,” Roe said. “Learn to make smart money decisions now and it will benefit you in the future.”

The branch is the first of its kind in Carter County. The Unaka Branch is open two days a week, for two hours at a time to give students the opportunity to take part in unique experiential learning programs.

NCCU President/CEO Teresa Arnold said the opening of the UHS Branch was a group effort involving the Carter County School System, the NCCU Board of Directors and NCCU staff.

“When we presented this idea to the school system, Director Dr. Kevin Ward was immediately interested,” Arnold said. “He said this was something the school system could greatly benefit from and he took it to the school board. They agreed, and we kept moving forward from there. We are so excited to give this opportunity to the students.”

The students will learn to conduct financial transactions and will take park in various campaigns led by NCCU personnel. The lessons are planned to coincide with classroom lesson plans so the students will gain double instruction time on key personal finance topics. Students are learning first-hand about business, customer service skills, the American economic system, personal finance and more.

Students are selected to work in the branch through an “interview” process which includes feedback to help students be better prepared for future job interviews. Students earn community service credits required for scholarships and gain beneficial skills that will help them in the workplace later in their lives.

Brandy Arnett, New Accounts Representative, and Dora Buckles, Direct Deposit/ACH Manager, of Northeast Community Credit Union, presents the Helping Teachers Teach grant check to Tammy Eggleston, teacher at Doe Elementary School in Johnson County.

Eggleston applied for the Helping Teachers Teach grant to purchase a listening center for her classroom. Through the listening center, students will listen to a book as they read along with it. The listening center will be used daily in small group activities and will help enhance the students’ listening skills. The new listening center will also give the students more books to choose from.

“I want the children to want to read,” Eggleston said. “I want to watch the children enjoy reading along while listening to a book of their choice. It will benefit them by seeing and hearing a book, and will enhance their understanding of print, punctuation and fluent reading while improving their listening skills.

Northeast Community Credit Union awards $300 every month to a classroom to be utilized for classroom needs, classroom activities, and academic enrichment. Helping Teachers Teach is open to teachers within Carter, Johnson, Unicoi, Sullivan and Washington counties that are members of Northeast Community Credit Union. Teachers may download the application at the credit union’s website: www.BeMyCU.org.

Northeast Community Credit Union is a sponsor for the Downtown Art Walk hosted by Blue River Studio in downtown Elizabethton.

The Downtown Art Walk was started by Blue River Studio with the goal of bringing more people and business to the downtown shopping district. The Art Walk puts artists in the downtown businesses and features musicians on the sidewalks. Children’s activities are sprinkled through downtown along with food trucks, and several downtown business stay open late for the event.

“When we started the art walk, everyone said what a great time they had,” Art Walk Organizer Karen Hitchcock said. “We do two walks a year and it has grown every time.”

This is the fourth Downtown Art Walk and it will be held on Saturday, March 30. For more information on the Downtown Art Walk, call 585-406-3255.

Northeast Community Credit Union is investing in the lives of the children of Carter County with a donation of $1,000 to the Carter County Imagination Library.

Northeast Community Credit Union is one of the Foundation Members of the CCIL and has contributed $1,000 every year since the start of the Carter County Imagination Library. The Carter County Imagination Library provides a free book to children in Carter County every month from birth until they turn five years old.

“Our credit union has made a commitment to our community to annually donate a percentage of proceeds to organizations and worthwhile causes,” NCCU President/CEO Teresa Arnold said. “We are so thankful that we can help provide books to the children in our county.”

CCIL Board Member Lilo Duncan said the cost to provide children with books from birth until age 5 is $150 per child.