CHESTERFIELD — United Way of Chesterfield County held its first Money Smart “Train the Trainer” program Oct. 23, at the county Department of Social Services building.
Eight individuals representing local agencies and churches attended and were trained to deliver the program to anyone needing help learning better financial management.
The Money Smart program is a financial literacy program designed by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. to help low and moderate-income individuals enhance their money management skills, understand basic mainstream financial services, avoid financial pitfalls and build financial confidence to use banking services effectively.
The United Way of Chesterfield County has adopted this program to offer to the public as a means to help foster a healthier financial environment in Chesterfield County.
The program is free and is a source of objective information from the FDIC, the federal agency responsible for maintaining stability and public confidence in banks.
The curriculum is available in three versions: Instructor-led for those seeking to teach youth, adults, older adults and small businesses. Computer-based instruction is a version for people to complete at their own pace. A downloadable MP3 (Podcast) version is also available. The program is available in a variety of languages.
The program is made up of 11 modules, ranging from an introduction of banking services, borrowing basics, choosing and keeping a checking account, savings programs, consumer rights, credit basics, using credit cards, loans, homeownership and financial recovery. These classes may be taught in their entirety or customized to fit the individual needs of anyone wishing to learn more.
“Since we are in the recovery of the aftermath of a suppressed economy, many people will see an increase in their finances,” program instructor Catherine Thompson said. “Awareness of their money management skills and financial planning is essential to a financially healthy community.”
In addition to helping people on an individual basis, churches will be using the training to help their congregations and local agencies will utilize it to help the clients they serve. Edwin Yowell, interim director of Good Samaritan Colony, attended the training to learn more about helping the clients served by his agency who are recovering from alcohol and drug addictions.
“I will use it to help our residents learn to manage money and return to their homes more financially confident,” Yowell said.
“The United Way of Chesterfield County board and staff are very glad to be able to bring this program to our community,” United Way director Margaret Mitchell said. “It is a much-needed program that we could not do without the staff support through the AmeriCorps VISTA program and the volunteers.”
To learn more about the Money Smart program, contact Tammie Allen-Little at 843-623-5266.
The United Way of Chesterfield County provided information for this story.