Another Financial Literacy Month is in the books. It is great to see the buzz and number of events nationwide increase every year. I had the pleasure again this year to represent AFCPE® at Financial Literacy Day on the Hill at the Hart Senate Office Building. The event began with the Jump$tart Coalition, Junior Achievement, and Council for Economic Education in 2003 and has expanded to include over 50 organizations from all facets of the financial industry.
This year’s event was hosted by the three co-chairs of the Senate Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus, Sens. Tom Scott, Jack Reed, and Joe Donnelly. Sen. Tom Scott spoke briefly about growing up in poverty and looking for a way out. You can see why he believes in financial literacy and providing the resources for every American to help themselves. Sen. Jack Reed spoke about collaborating across organizations and utilizing resources. This event showcased just that. I was amazed by the great work being done in the field and especially the resources out there for consumers and educators alike. Many of them are free!
There are government agencies providing literature of all kinds from newsletters to brochures to flyers. Places like the Federal Trade Commission, FDIC, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and even the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency have publications on everything from credit to student loans to managing someone else’s money. Many of these can be found at http://publications.usa.gov/USAPubs.php. If you are looking for larger quantities, several of these agencies have bulk order options through their website.
The resources don’t stop at the government; many other organizations are developing great tools and making them available, often at low or no cost. My table was located near NextGen Personal Finance and they have some awesome free curriculum for educators. No need to develop everything from scratch. I was very interested to see that DECA is in the financial literacy game. I was a DECA competitor in high school and it led me to my choice of college and first career. Who knows, if they had the personal finance programs back then, I may have made it to this industry even sooner. Throwing me even farther back in my childhood, I was amazed to find that there is even a program from National Credit Union Foundation featuring the Berenstain Bears.
If you find yourself in DC next April, a spin through the resources at Financial Literacy on Capitol Hill Day is well worth the time. In the meantime, a spin around the internet or a talk with colleagues at the water cooler may lead you to just the resources you need to support your program. Take a look at what is out there.
What are your favorite financial literacy resources?
Guest Contributor: Kira Dentes, AFC®