Featured Financial Literacy Program: Finance and Thrift and Money Smart

Featured Financial Literacy Program to Highlight California Financial Literacy Month (April 2013)

The CAFLM Blog will feature financial literacy programs in March and April to highlight California Financial Literacy Month, April 2013. To feature your financial literacy program, see the CAFLM Blog post dated February 20, 2013.

Today we are highlighting…

Finance and ThriftFinance and Thrift and Money Smart: Providing Financial Education in the Central Valley of California to Young Adults

FDIC MoneySmart Young AdultsIn 2009, Finance and Thrift’s Senior Management Team, along with support from the Bank’s Board of Directors, took on the challenge to implement financial education workshops throughout the Bank’s market footprint. Using FDIC’s Money Smart Curriculum, Finance and Thrift has successfully conducted multiple financial education workshops throughout the Central Valley of California, giving young adults a better understanding on how to handle their money and take control of their finances.

Bob Hughes, President and CEO of Finance and Thrift, has supported this initiative from its inception. From his perspective, “Providing sound money management skill sets at a young age helps to ensure a bright financial future for the student. One of the many positive outcomes is their contribution to the economic outlook of the community where they choose to live as adults.”

Through collaborative efforts with school districts, non-profit organizations, community colleges, private businesses, career training agencies and community organizations, Finance and Thrift is proud to announce that to date 3,841 students have attended their Money Smart Workshops. This doesn’t seem to be slowing down as several workshops have already been scheduled through 2013 from Bakersfield to Modesto, California.

Two student programs featured in this newsletter are the Porterville High School’s PAB (Academy of Business and Finance), and Bakersfield College’s, “Transfer Making It Happen” Program for High School Seniors.

Porterville, California

Porterville High School’s PAB is part of the district’s Pathway Program of study that combines academic and technical skills in the classroom to better prepare students for college and careers. PAB students learn the basics of financial literacy and the function of finance in society. Students study income and wealth, including budgeting, personal banking, credit and borrowing, and planning for retirement. The Money Smart Curriculum was a perfect fit for the program.

Tom Zarate, VP/Director of Business Development for Finance and Thrift began teaching Money Smart two years ago at Porterville High School. According to Michelle Halopoff, a PAB Academy of Finance Teacher at PHS, “Financial literacy is such an important part of becoming an independent adult. This workshop teaches and encourages students to make sound financial decisions, prepares our young adults for financial independence, and teaches them how to minimize debt. Our PAB students are better prepared to face the real world because they know how to manage their money.”

PAB Academy Assistant Debbie Prescott goes on to say, “Not only does the student greatly benefit through the Money Smart experience, they in turn take the information home and help to educate parents and other family members in understanding the financial services that are available to them in our community.”

“Keeping the students engaged throughout the learning process using real life scenarios helps the students put things in perspective,” states Zarate. “Many of them will be out on their own soon and we’ve got to do our best to help them make the right choice when it comes to money management.”

To date, two hundred and ninety four PAB Students have attended the Money Smart Workshops at Porterville High School.

Classroom

One of several Porterville High School Money Smart Classes

Bakersfield, California

Bakersfield College’s, “Transfer Making It Happen” Program is part of CALSOAP, a California statewide funded initiative targeting high school students from low income and rural areas to attend community college after high school. The objective of the program is to educate students about college and life expectations.

Sue Granger-Dickson, Articulation Officer/Transfer Center Coordinator and Organizer of this program for the past two years, feels that the one-day event has been successful in assisting students with not only attending community college, but in choosing to transfer to earn a bachelor’s degree once they complete their general education and major preparation courses.

She stated “This year we decided to add Money Smart training to our day-long event because of the importance of students managing their financial aid resources during college. Changes in federal financial aid make it more important than ever for students to manage their money wisely and complete their education in a timely manner.” Ms. Dickson goes on to say, “Money management, which most students do not learn in the home or in the Kindergarten through 12th grade curriculum, is one of our most important life skills.”

Two-hundred and seventeen high school seniors attended the “Bank on It/Setting Financial Goals” Workshops at the “Transfer Making It Happen” event at Bakersfield College.

Workshop

Bakersfield College Money Smart Workshop

Looking Forward

Finance and Thrift will continue to present the Money Smart workshops throughout the Central Valley of California during the 2012 year and beyond. The 2013 calendar already has scheduled Visalia College of The Sequoias, Porterville College, Fresno City College, Reedley College, Merced City College and Modesto Junior College and multiple school districts as presentation areas for the Money Smart curriculum.

Finance and Thrift has been in the banking industry since 1925 and is an FDIC Insured Bank headquartered in Porterville California.

For more information about their Money Smart Program, contact Tom Zarate, VP/Director of Business Development at (559) 781-9560, (559) 359-2129 or at tzarate@financeandthrift.com.

Visit the Finance and Thrift Website: www.financeandthrift.com.

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