April is National Financial Literacy Month. A time when we reflect upon and bring awareness to the critical need for financial education for consumers of all ages. In my last blog, I talked about what is lacking in financial education in the US. This month I’d like to talk about what’s going right in financial education by recognizing our financial literacy partners and by briefly highlighting some of the initiatives of national nonprofit organizations and federal government agencies, starting with CARE.
Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE)
CARE provides in-person financial education workshops in schools and other youth-serving organizations through a national network of volunteers. Our volunteers are experts in bankruptcy and financial services and include judges, attorneys, and CPAs. Topics covered include saving and budgeting, credit and debt, and student loans. You can download our curriculum here.
Highlighting Our Financial Literacy Partners
Consumer Action (CA)
CA conducts local train-the-trainer workshops for diverse community-based organizations across the country. These workshops cover a variety of financial services topics including budgeting, saving, credit, debt, insurance, and mortgages. Their multi-lingual materials are available in English, as well as Chinese, Korean, Spanish and Vietnamese.
Consumer Federation of America – America Saves
America Saves is a nationwide program, offered locally, designed to help low-to-moderate income households establish good personal financial management skills. In addition to America Saves, which is focused on adults, the program has been expanded to include America Saves for Young Workers and Military Saves focused on members of the military.
Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
The CFPB is a federal government agency that offers information on financial education on its website in addition to other consumer resources and services, accessible to all. They also specialize in the specific financial education needs of older Americans, youth and the military.
Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy
Coalition members represent nonprofit organizations, government agencies, teachers and financial services companies. The coalitions strive to ensure that every young person graduates from school with good personal financial management skills. There is a JumpStart Coalition in every state, Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia. You can learn more about your state coalition on their website.
Junior Achievement (JA)
JA is a national youth-focused nonprofit organization. Financial education is one of its areas of focus, in addition to entrepreneurship and preparing students to enter the working world. JA programs are taught by a nationwide volunteer network and are offered both in the classroom and after-school programs. You can find a program near you through https://www.juniorachievement.org/web/ja-usa/home their website.
NextGen Personal Finance
NextGen is an online-based organization with a wealth of resources and information on financial education. The site includes course curriculum, teacher training opportunities, a video library, and webinars, amongst other resources. They also host a podcast, blog and the NextGen Fellows program.
Operation Hope has a number of programs and initiatives focused on restoring the financial dignity of the working poor, the underserved and the struggling middle class. The https://www.operationhope.org/banking-on-our-future Banking on Our Future division focuses on keeping the most at-risk youth from repeating the cycles of poverty by teaching youth financial literacy skills.
As you can see, there are numerous opportunities for you to get involved with financial education-focused organizations on the local level, including CARE. I hope you’ll actively seek out these opportunities.
CARE Financial Literacy Celebration
In recognition of Financial Literacy Month, CARE is hosting a “Celebration of Financial Literacy” reception during the American Bankruptcy Institute’s 2018 Annual Spring Meeting in Washington DC. The highlight of the evening is the presentation of the inaugural CARE Lifetime Achievement Award. This award is presented to an individual who has an established history of serving as a dedicated CARE volunteer and long-time supporter. This year’s award will be presented to retired US Bankruptcy Court Judge, The Honorable Mary Grace Diehl. We’ll also take a look back at the progress CARE has made over its 15-year history and share our plans for the future. If you plan to be in the Washington DC area on Friday, April 20, we hope you’ll join us in recognizing our honoree and celebrating financial literacy. More information about the event can be found here.
Additional Financial Literacy Month events have been taking place across the country. The most visible on a national level is Financial Literacy Day on Capitol Hill. This high-profile event was convened by the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy and took place in Washington DC on April 12 in the US Capitol Hart Senate Office Building. This year’s honorary co-hosts were US Senators Tim Scott (R-SC) and Jack Reed (D-RI).
Tell us what your organization is doing to recognize Financial Literacy Month.
As always, feel free to comment and add your thoughts to my blog. You can also reach me directly at [email protected]. Thanks for reading.
About the Author
Anna Flores joined CARE as its first Executive Director in 2015 and helped to bring the organization into official 501(c)(3) status. Previously, Anna worked as a VP for American Express and has years of experience working with volunteer-driven organizations throughout the Washington, D.C. area.