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Money Smart News Idea Exchange – Summer/ Fall 2013

Teaching Tips You Can Use

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In the last edition of Money Smart News, we invited subscribers to share their positive experiences using the FDIC's financial education curriculum to help consumers enhance their financial knowledge and effectively use mainstream financial services. Here is the first installment of our new Money Smart Idea Exchange, a mix of tips from partner organizations and FDIC staff.

Invite subject matter experts to share their knowledge. FDIC staff members also suggest that community-based organizations consider inviting representatives from local financial institutions to participate in workshops, and that banks planning their own financial education workshops consult with local government agencies and nonprofit organizations for suggestions about topics and resources for their target audience. For example, as young people near adulthood, they need to get a better appreciation for the importance of credit and checking and savings accounts. Using the Money Smart curriculum, Paul Wolf, a Youth Employment Specialist at Community Services of Stark County, in Canton, Ohio, invites bankers to speak with students about these topics to provide a "real world" perspective. Wolf reports that when the students hear important concepts from outside experts it helps them retain what they learn.

Use technology to share your experience with using Money Smart. With the advancement of technology and social media, more people than ever can be reached with financial education messages. Natasha Marstiller, a Communications and Marketing Specialist at the FDIC, shared, "It is great to see how Money Smart is helping people of all ages improve their financial literacy and skills. And the use of digital and new media outreach tools can enhance the learning experience and keep this important conversation going." FDIC staff said that one possibility for a class project may be to help students make videos describing what they learned from Money Smart and then share their finished products with others.

Partner with assistance organizations that can offer financial education to their clients. Lisa Werner, Assistant Vice President and Mortgage Officer at WesBanco Bank, Inc., in Wheeling, West Virginia, said that she has had success working with social service organizations in that city that offer "utility assistance" to low-income households that have problems paying for services such as home energy or water. For example, for individuals who need help with budgeting, Werner uses the "Pay Yourself First" module of Money Smart for her weekly one-on-one sessions with clients of Catholic Charities West Virginia, and for her workshops twice a month with individuals served by the House of the Carpenter. The attendees complete their personal budget as part of the process. "Since there seems to be a growing need for utility assistance, we hope to offer financial assistance to as many as possible," Werner said. "Teaching the classes is a great way to reach senior citizens and others." FDIC staff added that financial educators might want to consider suggesting a class or counseling program to local assistance organizations that don't already have one.

The FDIC plans to run more tips in future editions, so please share with us any techniques that helped you make your Money Smart educational program successful. Send them by e-mail to

For help or information on how to use the Money Smart financial education curriculum, contact

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FDIC staff is available to provide technical assistance and to help facilitate partnerships among interested parties. Contact us at

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