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Money Smart - A Financial Education Program

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Spotlight On... Asset Building

Organization: Willimantic-Danielson Partnership: ACCESS Agency, Inc.
Main Office: Danielson, CT

The Willimantic-Danielson Partnership: ACCESS Agency, Inc. emerged as a result of a partnership between a non-profit community-based organization and two Department of Labor/Connecticut Works One-Stop Employment Centers. ACCESS is a non-profit community action program geared toward meeting the needs of low- and moderate income individuals residing in rural communities, with special emphasis on the delivery of its services to welfare recipients transitioning into the workplace. ACCESS offers a broad range of programs such as life skills training, personal and group counseling, family skills, mentoring, job training, and post-placement services.

ACCESS trainers use seven of the Money Smart modules to teach classes on a weekly basis over the course of a seven-week period. The Money Smart curriculum is used in conjunction with the financial education component within a number of the programs offered by ACCESS to its English- and Spanish-speaking clients. Financial self-sufficiency is an integral part of the service strategy for the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program and Individual Development Accounts (IDA) program. In support of the IDA program, the Savings Institute of Willimantic provides low-cost bank accounts to participants. ACCESS also provides the full ten module Money Smart course to the public twice a year.


Organization: St. Petersburg Neighborhood Housing Services
Main Office: St. Petersburg, FL

St. Petersburg Neighborhood Housing Services is the local affiliate of NeighborWorks America, which agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding with FDIC to use the Money Smart curriculum in twenty-four of its local non-profit organizations around the country. Money Smart classes are taught at various locations throughout the city by instructors from St. Petersburg Neighborhood Housing Services, Pinellas County Extension Services, local financial institutions, and community volunteers. The target population for the workshops consists primarily of low- and moderate-income individuals. Financial institutions provide classroom instructors and access to low- or no-cost accounts for students who complete the Money Smart classes. Other partners provide instructors, client referrals, outreach/publicity, and program planning support.


Organization: Monroe Bank & Trust
Main Office: Southeast, MI

Monroe Bank & Trust’s primary service area is in Southeast Michigan. To encourage bank employees to serve their local communities, Monroe Bank & Trust established Employees Now Linked in Service Together (ENLIST), a bank-sponsored volunteer organization that rewards employees with additional time-off for participation. For every 25 hours employees volunteer for bank-approved projects in the community, they receive one vacation day up to a maximum of five days per year. As an extension of ENLIST, Monroe Bank & Trust has developed MBTeach, a financial literacy program that provides similar incentives for bank employees to volunteer. Designed as a formalized approach to the bank’s existing educational outreach programs, bank employees participating in MBTeach deliver seminars based on the FDIC Money Smart curriculum, including to faith-based organizations, service agencies, and high schools in low- to moderate- income census tracts as well as any other organization requesting assistance. Topics expand upon those covered in previously offered seminars, such as basic banking, mortgages, and first-time home purchases.


Organization: United Way of the Brazos Valley
Main Office: College Station/Bryan, Texas

United Way of the Brazos Valley (UWBV) brings the community together to create opportunities for a better life for everyone.  The areas of focus include Education, Financial Stability and Health.  Education leads to a stable job; Financial Stability can support a family now and through retirement; and Health includes healthy lifestyle choices, affordable health care and a safe community for everyone.  UWBV’s Financial Stability Partnership has several components: 

  • Community Tax Center: Volunteer tax preparers provide free tax preparation, thereby saving families and individuals an average of more than $100 per return.  Taxpayers are encouraged to use the funds saved by using the free tax preparation site by opening a saving account. 
  • Individual Development Account (IDA) Program: IDAs are matched savings accounts that enable low- and moderate-income families to save money and build assets. IDAs reward the monthly savings of working families who are working toward the goal of homeownership, post-secondary education, or starting a small business. IDAs make it possible for low-income families to build financial assets.
  • Money Smart: Money Smart is offered free to help families and individuals enhance their financial skills and create a positive banking relationship. Money Smart is offered to clients of the Community Tax Center and the IDA Program.






Last Updated 03/20/2011 communityaffairs@fdic.gov