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Home > Consumer Protection > Financial Education & Literacy > Money Smart News - Spring 2006

Money Smart News - Spring 2006

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Message from the FDIC

Sandra ThompsonApril is Financial Literacy Month in the United States, a period when government agencies, private organizations and community groups are asked to raise awareness about how a financial education can give people the skills they need to save money, borrow wisely, buy their own home, and otherwise build the assets they need to live a better life. In most ways, though, it's just another month for the FDIC and our Money Smart partners. That's because the FDIC is always promoting financial education to the public, either directly through our Money Smart curriculum and other FDIC educational products and services, or indirectly though our partnerships with financial institutions, state and federal agencies, non-profit groups and other organizations.

       Money Smart…At a Glance
  • A free, award-winning financial education program from the FDIC
  • Primarily focused on helping low- and moderate-income adults develop money-management skills
  • Two versions –one for classroom use (in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese), the other for computer-based, self-paced learning (in English and Spanish)
  • Classes offered through an extensive network of Money Smart "partners," including financial institutions, non-profit organizations and government agencies
  • Since 2001, about 495,000 people have taken Money Smart classes and 95,000 new banking relationships have been established
        To learn more, start at Money Smart Home.

In this issue of Money Smart News, we are highlighting one area of financial education that the recent tragedy in the Gulf Coast states raised awareness of for far too many Americans. When Hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit last year, among the first steps taken by the FDIC and other government agencies was to help connect evacuees with their financial institutions, so they could get access to cash, replace lost bank cards and records, and otherwise function financially during the emergency. Here you'll find a collection of tips and information that financial educators can use in their lessons to help people prepare for the possibility that a flood, fire or some similar event could seriously impair their ability to conduct their day-to-day financial affairs.

Also find out about a page on the FDIC Web site that follows the progress of a few Money Smart partners around the country that are trying different approaches to financial literacy and have agreed to provide the FDIC with periodic progress reports. We're calling these organizations -- mostly non-profits or public/private-sector coalitions -- our "model sites." Their strategies, challenges and successes will be featured for the benefit of other Money Smart partners looking for new or different ways of doing things, especially approaches that have been "consumer tested." We hope you'll visit that Web page now and again, and that you'll always come away with a useful new idea or two.

The FDIC also wants to hear new ideas from you, too. That's why we encourage all Money Smart partners to send us news about their programs and accomplishments. Some of the best submissions are already featured on the "Money Smart Success Stories" page of this newsletter, and more will be published in the future. We also encourage you to contact your regional Community Affairs Officer to make a suggestion or ask a question. Our goal is to continue helping consumers and strengthening local communities by promoting financial education in America, during Financial Literacy Month and throughout the year.

Sandra L. Thompson
Acting Director
FDIC Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection

Last Updated 04/21/2006

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