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Money Smart News - Fall 2004

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Money Smart: Get Involved!

Any organization interested in financial education can use Money Smart. For information and instructions on how to obtain copies of the curriculum go to or call

The Money Smart curriculum is comprised of 10 comprehensive instructor-led modules covering basic financial topics including an introduction to bank services, tips on obtaining credit and information on buying a home. It can be easily reproduced for wide dissemination and has no copyright restrictions. Money Smart is free to users.

The version of Money Smart intended solely for classroom use is available on CD-ROM in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, and Vietnamese.

In addition, a new interactive version of Money Smart is available for computer-based instruction (CBI) in two formats: as a CD-ROM and on the FDIC's Web site. Unlike the previous version of Money Smart, the CBI program is designed for individual use. Money Smart CBI is available in English and Spanish. The FDIC also encourages partner organizations to help make Money Smart CBI available to people without access to computers or the Internet.

Send Us Your Success Stories
We want to hear how Money Smart is making a difference. Submit your stories today!

Here is one recent story submitted by a reader:

Arizona Bank Creates a Scholarship for Students with Help from Money Smart

A bank in Yuma, Arizona, with assistance from the FDIC's Money Smart program, is offering local students a chance at scholarships as a way to encourage them to learn how to use credit responsibly.

Jeff Byrd, the Business Development Officer at Yuma Community Bank, reported that during August and September of this year, he spoke about credit to more than 1,000 high school seniors and more than 300 junior high school students using Money Smart information as part of his presentation. "I used the Money Smart credit module to go over topics such as FICO scores and how credit affects your life," he said. "At the end of every lecture, I said that a new scholarship would be offered to the student who composes the best short essay on why credit is important. Several teachers even offered extra credit for the seniors if they entered the contest."

The scholarship winners were announced on September 18, 2004, at an annual community festival created in part to inform Yuma's year-round residents about activities, businesses and services available in the area. Yuma Community Bank started funding of the scholarships with $500 and supplemented that with small donations from people attending the annual event. The result: three scholarships given to high school seniors - one $500 check for the first-place essay and separate $100 checks for two second-place winners - and one $50 scholarship to the top essay from the junior high school students.

Byrd said that Yuma Community Bank remains "excited about the FDIC Money Smart program" because "it has given us the privilege of helping to educate our youth and the community," in part through the new scholarships. "However," he added, "the most exciting aspect.was to hear back from teachers that the lectures really hit home with students. A large number of students actually had real conversations with their parents about the importance of credit and returned to school wanting to continue the discussion. To the bank, that acknowledgement really made us feel great." What else does the bank see as a plus from this new program? "We hope that in the next five or 10 years," Byrd wrote, "these students will remember us and come in for a loan when they start their own businesses or buy their own home."

Last Updated 3/03/2005

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