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Money Smart News - Winter 2006

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Message from the FDIC
Christopher J. SpothThe FDIC's Money Smart financial education program is both a great success and a work in progress. What started in 2001 as a 700-page paper-based product for classroom use and available only in English now includes materials in four foreign languages and a computer-based version for self-paced learning any time, anywhere. While Money Smart is continuing to grow and to evolve, the underlying goals set by the FDIC have remained the same, and two of them are featured in this issue of Money Smart News.

       Money Smart…At a Glance
  • A free, award-winning financial education program from the FDIC
  • Primarily to help 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 82,000 new banking relationships have been established
       To learn more, start at Money Smart Home.

One such goal is to help "train the trainers" at financial institutions, community groups, schools and other organizations that will be teaching Money Smart classes. The FDIC has learned much about the needs of Money Smart educators and students these last four years, and we're passing those lessons along. Inside, you'll read about a new video from the FDIC with guidance for anyone wishing to teach a financial education class, not just a Money Smart course. You'll also find a collection of 10 practical, time-tested tips from the FDIC that educators can use to prepare for and lead a class in money management.

Another ongoing commitment of the FDIC is to reach out to segments of our society that have special needs for financial education. Read ahead to learn more about how the Money Smart program and the agency' quarterly FDIC Consumer News are helping to educate one such group – senior citizens – on matter such as stretching savings throughout their retirement, borrowing wisely and avoiding fraud.

Inside we also are asking for success stories and words of wisdom about teaching financial education to senior citizens as well as to recent immigrants and people with disabilities. By gathering and sharing this information, the FDIC is pursuing both of the goals I just mentioned – to train financial educators and to bring financial education to groups with special needs.

The FDIC is committed to reviewing – and renewing – Money Smart. If you want to contribute to our efforts, perhaps by becoming a Money Smart partner, by offering to teach a financial education class or by simply making a suggestion to the FDIC, contact your regional Community Affairs Officer.

Christopher J. Spoth
Acting Director
FDIC Division of Supervision and Consumer Protection

Last Updated 01/10/2006

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