Louisiana agencies learn about MoneyWi$e

Consumer Action hosts financial literacy workshops in Shreveport and New Orleans in partnership with Capital One.
Published: Friday, May 30, 2008
On a mission to educate consumers about good money management, Consumer Action and Capital One headed to Louisiana to share the MoneyWi$e financial literacy project. Hundreds of organizations from the state were invited to participate in two free train-the-trainer conferences hosted in Shreveport and New Orleans. Still battling the devastating results of the Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Louisiana faces immense challenges. Almost 20% of the state’s citizens and 30% of its children live in poverty. Improving the residents’ standard of living has become the number one priority for many local non-profit organizations. Access to capital, banking services and financial literacy classes are crucial for families to start building assets, says a report by the Louisiana Association of Nonprofit Organizations and Louisiana Association of United Ways. However, many community organizations lack the funding and necessary staff to develop and implement their own financial literacy programs. To assist these agencies in their efforts, Consumer Action and Capital One presented 11 training modules including Banking Basics, Talking to Teens About Money, Identity Theft, Senior Fraud and Rebuilding Good Credit. Each module serves as a complete toolkit for trainers and provides a wide variety of activities, games and instruction materials that can be tailored to address the needs of a particular audience. All materials are provided for free to non-profit organizations and are available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean and Vietnamese. The trainings also offered agencies the opportunity to network and share best practices on topics including reaching out to low-income consumers, seniors, teens and special populations, such as survivors of domestic violence. Consumer Action’s outreach and training staff facilitated sessions in which groups discussed real-life scenarios, such as how to help their clients utilize basic financial services, improve their credit and avoid becoming victims of scams. Participants developed a shared vision for the future in which all Louisiana residents would have access to affordable and suitable financial services that allow them to build assets. They then identified the barriers that prevent residents from improving their economic status and created strategies to overcome these barriers and achieve self-sufficiency. Empowered to continue working together, the new MoneyWi$e-educated providers left the training with tools and information that will enhance their effort to build a better Louisiana. For more information on MoneyWi$e, Consumer Action and Capital One’s unique national financial literacy program, visit www.money-wise.org.



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