Reports from the Field: More Money Smart Success Stories
Nonprofit organizations, schools, financial institutions and other Money Smart partners continue to report on their efforts to educate and serve local communities using the FDIC's curriculum. The following are recent examples of accomplishments.
One Curriculum, Many Different Needs: Northwest Community Action Programs of Wyoming (NOWCAP), a Money Smart Alliance Partner based in Worland, Wyoming, has been using the Money Smart curriculum in a year-old financial literacy program for teens and adults throughout this state. The program, supported by federal funds administered by the Wyoming Department of Health, has served low- to moderate-income families and senior citizens as well as at-risk youths, special-needs adults, drug and alcohol offenders, and inmates at various correctional facilities.
In one example, in the program's first 11 months of operation, 112 soon-to-be released inmates completed Money Smart financial training. And this past summer, Money Smart classes were held for children between the ages of 8 and 12 years on saving, deposits, budgets, and how to count money in English and Spanish. This fall, the training will be offered in selected elementary and secondary schools.
"Our financial literacy program in Wyoming continues to grow," said Bill Edyvean, Program Director of NOWCAP. "We now plan to serve more employee groups and people who have received public assistance in order to help them better manage their financial lives."
"A Huge Accomplishment" for One Single Mom: Childcare Resources of Indian River, a nonprofit organization for low- and moderate-income families in Indian River County, Florida, recently hosted a Money Smart financial education series open to anyone in the community and taught on a monthly basis by local branch employees from PNC Bank and the former Riverside National Bank of Florida, now TD Bank, N.A. Sarah Starr, the Community Relations Director for the organization, shared with us this one success story.
Rose, a single mother who earns about $26,000 a year and supports two small children, enrolled in the program in August 2009 with no money in savings and over $1,000 in credit card debt. Her goal was to better provide for her family by saving $300 by June 30, 2010. Rose attended the monthly classes and was paired with a volunteer mentor for additional support and encouragement. Rose soon opened a savings account and started having a portion of every paycheck automatically deposited into it. She also started paying more than the minimum due on her credit cards.
"By March 2010, Rose had met her goal of $300 in savings and set a new goal of soon reaching $500," Starr told the FDIC. "And thanks to the lessons she learned in Money Smart, by September of this year Rose had zero debt and several hundred dollars of savings for her emergency fund. This is a huge accomplishment for Rose. We are very proud of her, and more importantly, she is proud of herself."
Using Money Smart to Satisfy State Requirements: Shaw High School in East Cleveland, Ohio, is one of the first schools to integrate the study of economics and financial literacy into core classes required of all students under a new state law. Shaw chose the FDIC's Money Smart for Young Adults as a tool to be used in its new "Smart Money Matters" program now being offered this academic year (2010-11). Here's an early progress report.
Shaw officials estimate that the school will deliver financial education to 330 students in the 9th grade and 350 students in the 10th grade this year. "It is important to teach young people how to handle money, the right questions to ask, and the benefits of a banking relationship," said FDIC Community Affairs Officer Angelisa Harris. "This will equip them with the confidence they need as adults to make financial decisions and challenge questionable products and practices."
The school will use "simulation" in the coursework. "Students will be assigned an occupation and they will be given simulated money to spend, bank, invest and do all kinds of things," said Myrna Loy Corley, Superintendent of the East Cleveland City School District.
The kickoff ceremony for the program was held on September 9, 2010. Collaborating partners from organizations such as the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Ohio State Treasurer's Office, PNC Bank, Third Federal Savings and Loan, and the FDIC participated in the event, as did East Cleveland Mayor Gary Norton.
"This is an excellent example of institutions joining with schools to promote youth financial education," added Luke W. Reynolds, Chief of Outreach and Program Development at the FDIC. "Equally important is the fact that the school recognized the importance of getting the teachers trained before starting the initiative."
These stories show how Money Smart can be adapted to various audiences in diverse communities. The FDIC encourages financial educators to submit your success stories for consideration in a future issue of our newsletter.