The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC)’s Financial Literacy Update is a bimonthly e-newsletter containing information about upcoming financial literacy events, new initiatives of the OCC and other government agencies and organizations, and other related resources.
Financial Literacy Update provides brief descriptions and Web links for upcoming events in chronological order. We list new initiatives and resources (with Web links) in alphabetical order. We welcome your feedback on the Financial Literacy Update. Please e-mail us at email@example.com.
Upcoming Events — New Initiatives — New Resources
July 14, 2009 (St. Louis, Mo.)
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis offers “Lessons in Children Literature,” a professional development workshop for 1st-5th grade educators. The course covers curriculum ideas designed to help students gain personal finance and economic knowledge while they read.
July 16, 2009 (St. Louis, Mo.)
The Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis offers “Personal Finance: Your Students’ First Steps,” a professional development workshop for 9th-12th grade educators. The course covers two new curricula designed to help students meet their first personal finance challenges. It's Your Paycheck! introduces students to wages and taxes while also preparing them for the tempting world of credit cards, payday loans, rent-to-own contracts and check cashing schemes. Cards, Cars and Currency focuses on that first important purchase—a car—and also helps students learn more about the costs and benefits of using credit cards for smaller purchases that can add up to big problems.
July 20-24, 2009 (Boston, Mass.)
Junior Achievement Worldwide holds its Worldwide Leadership Conference with the theme,“ Connecting to Build a Better World.”
July 20-24, 2009 (Philadelphia, Pa.)
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia offers “Making Sense of Money and Banking,” a five-day course for teachers that covers money, banking, and the Federal Reserve System. The course is taught by Federal Reserve economists, economic education specialists, and staff from state centers on economic education. Emphasis is placed on active- and collaborative-learning teaching methods and curricula for teaching money and banking in the grades K-12.
July 22, 2009 (Canyon, Texas)
The Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Texas Council on Economic Education, West Texas Center for Economic Education, College of Business, and West Texas A&M University offer a one-day teacher workshop for secondary educators called “Get Your Kicks on Route 66.” The workshop examines the West Texas economy and how it relates to what is going on nationally as well as globally. Also addressed are the major economic drivers that make this region work, especially as they relate to the natural resources of wind, water, and energy.
August 3-6, 2009 (Tempe, Ariz.)
The 2009 National Youth Involvement Board Annual Conference provides insight and resources that can be used to understand young consumers and teach them good money management skills.
August 4, 2009 (Philadelphia, Pa.)
The Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia offers a one-day professional development program that introduces middle school teachers to methods for teaching personal finance topics, such as personal decision making, saving, investing, budgeting, and the wise use of credit.
August 19, 2009 (Dallas, Texas)
The Texas Department of Banking provides hands-on training on three financial education curricula: the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’s “Building Wealth,” the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s (FDIC) “Money Smart Program,” and JA Worldwide’s “Junior Achievement.”
August 31-September 1, 2009 (San Antonio, Texas)
The National Community Tax Coalition, a project of the Center for Economic Progress, holds its 2009 Annual Conference. Themed “Realizing the Dream: Promoting Financial Opportunity in All Communities,” the two-day conference provides opportunities for training, learning, networking, and shaping the direction of community-based tax preparation, financial services, leadership development, and advocacy.
September 11, 2009 (Chicago, Ill.)
The Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago holds this conference to bring people together with researchers and representatives of partner organizations to discuss strategies for designing successful programs and partnerships in financial literacy and financial education. The conference provides research that evaluates the effectiveness of financial education and counseling and opportunities for participants to learn from partners about what works and what could be improved.
September 14, 2009 (Washington, D.C.)
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling holds its 2009 Annual Leaders Conference in Washington, D.C. The national agenda focuses on financially responsible behavior and helping the foundation’s members deliver quality financial education and counseling services.
October 7-10, 2009 (Washington, D.C.)
The Council for Economic Education, National Association of Economic Educators, and Global Association of Teachers of Economics holds its 2009 annual conference. The conference focuses on grades K-12 economic, personal finance, and entrepreneurship education.
October 21-23, 2009 (Philadelphia, Pa.)
The Institute for Financial Literacy hosts the 2009 Annual Conference on Financial Education. The conference provides professional development opportunities for people working in the fields of financial literacy and education.
November 4, 2009 (Lubbock, Texas)
The Texas Department of Banking provides hands-on training on three financial education curricula: the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas’s “Building Wealth,” the FDIC’s “Money Smart Program,” and JA Worldwide’s “Junior Achievement.”
November 6-8, 2009 (Washington, D.C.)
The Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy presents the first nationwide conference devoted entirely to personal finance education in grades K-12.
The Bank On Cities Campaign is a technical assistance project that helps municipal officials build a comprehensive asset-building agenda for residents. Project participants learn how to access financial services, accumulate and protect savings or other financial assets, and avoid unmanageable debt and bad credit, which are the keys to both family financial stability and the broader economic vitality of their cities.
Mayor Bloomberg’s Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan has provided New Yorkers with access to free financial counseling at the city’s Financial Empowerment Centers in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens in addition to the Bronx. Services are provided by professional counselors in person or by phone in English and Spanish. Opening additional Financial Empowerment Centers is one of Mayor Bloomberg’s 18 initiatives to help New Yorkers face current economic challenges.
Money Smart Week Wisconsin October 10 – 17, 2009, is a public awareness initiative that aims to build financial knowledge so people can deal with their own money more quickly, confidently, and shrewdly. The workshops, seminars, programs, events, and other activities help people and their families, students, homeowners, businesspersons, employees, and other community members expand their opportunities through improved financial literacy.
The National Academy of Public Administration has launched a student-focused, public awareness campaign designed to demonstrate the importance of financial responsibility and to inspire students to make their voices heard in the ongoing fiscal policy debate. “Budgetball” is an innovative new sport that combines fiscal strategy and physical play. The game takes students out of the classroom and on to the field for competitive play that highlights the relationships among debt, savings, interest, and taxes.
The North American Securities Administrators Association provides information and tools on financial services and investments, including tips for avoiding investment fraud and where to go for help.
Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants has a variety of financial literacy programs targeting high school and college students. Its “High School Liaison Program” provides each high school in Tennessee with a volunteer certified public accountant to speak to students about career options or personal finance. The organization also offers a personal finance session to high school juniors and seniors who attend its summer Accounting Academy, a four-day program designed to expose students to career opportunities in the accounting profession.
The National Endowment for Financial Education has launched a National Financial Literacy Campaign that encourages Americans to start achieving their financial goals by accessing practical information on the Smart About Money Web site.
"United We Serve" is a nationwide service initiative, announced by President Obama, that will help meet growing social needs resulting from the economic downturn. The initiative aims to both expand the impact of existing organizations by engaging new volunteers in their work and encourage volunteers to develop their own "do-it-yourself" projects. United We Serve is an initial 81 days of service, through September 11, 2009, but hopes to grow into a sustained, collaborative and focused effort to promote service as a way of life for all Americans.
The Virginia CASH Campaign (Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope) helps low- and moderate-income workers move toward greater self-sufficiency (a) by receiving the federal Earned Income Tax Credit that can supplement earnings and (b) through financial literacy and other asset-building activities. The campaign promotes the Earned Income Tax Credit program through education, outreach, and awareness; provides free tax preparation to avoid the high cost of professional preparers and to avoid refund anticipation loans; and promotes financial opportunities to the unbanked.
The Association of Credit and Collection Professionals International’s Education Foundation provides a free and confidential resource for helping consumers find solutions to credit and debt issues.
MetLife released a new publication, The Benefits Edge: Honing the Competitive Value of Employee Benefits, written by industry expert Dr. Ron Leopold. Grounded in MetLife research, The Benefits Edge contains pragmatic principles and ideas designed to help employers make more strategic investments in employee benefits with an eye toward optimizing return on benefits investment and delivering greater competitive advantages.
CardRatings.com offers free educational materials and resources in addition to free credit card ratings and reviews. The U.S. Citizens for Fair Credit Card Terms maintains this Web site.
The Cooperative Extension System’s Financial Security for All Community of Practice hosts a series of informational chat sessions through the University of the District of Columbia. Visitors to the site can ask questions and get answers from extension personal finance experts. Also available on the site is a locator for local extension offices and institutions.
The National Foundation for Credit Counseling has launched Debt Advice, an interactive Web site that gives consumers access to numerous financial education tools and helps them find a certified credit counselor closest to them.
The Federal Reserve has created a Credit Card Repayment Calculator. Based on the information the user provides, the calculator will give an estimate of how long it will take to pay off the credit card balance. A second calculation helps the user develop a plan for paying off the balance sooner.
The FDIC has released the Money Smart Podcast Network, the portable audio (MP3) version of the award-winning Money Smart financial education. The new version of Money Smart is suitable for use with all MP3 players, enabling consumers of all ages to learn to make informed and prudent financial decisions while “on the go.”
The FDIC has issued a variety of tips to help consumers stay on guard financially in the current economy, in areas ranging from foreclosure rescue and loan modification scams to deceptive offers of FDIC-insured certificates of deposit. The FDIC published these tips in the spring 2009 issue of FDIC Consumer News, the agency’s quarterly newsletter for consumers, which is available on the Web site.
In its winter 2008/2009 issue of FDIC Consumer News, the FDIC issued tips to help consumers spend less, save more, protect against fraud, and borrow wisely at any time but especially during a difficult economy.
The Financial Literacy of Young American Adults, an analysis of the Jump$tart Coalition’s 2008 biennial survey, is available in PDF on the Jump$tart Web site. The survey, which launched in 1997 and has been conducted every other year since 2000, focuses on high school seniors but included college students for the first time in 2008. The results of these surveys (and comparisons with earlier surveys) are included in the book. Also available on this site is Making the Case for Financial Literacy, 2009, a collection of personal finance statistics that Jump$tart compiled from other sources.
Financial Literacy Online is a product of National Student Loan Program, a nonprofit student loan guaranty agency dedicated to financial literacy, based on the belief that education helps all consumers manage debt and other financial matters. Financial Literacy Online is a comprehensive and convenient online learning center that teaches students the basics of personal money management. Courses are for students planning for college, enrolled in college, planning to graduate from college, or recently graduated from college. Anyone interested in money management—including parents—may take the courses.
Investor Education Fund, in partnership with the Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada, sponsors “Funny Money for High Schools Assembly Program,” an entertaining show that takes students on a financial literacy tour through the basics of balancing a checkbook, reconciling a debit card statement, learning credit card fundamentals and more.
Junior Achievement and the Allstate Foundation have created a new series of free, downloadable teaching tools to help parents talk to their children about smart money management. Lessons cover budgeting, the importance of saving, understanding the cost of credit and how to use it, and more.
The National Theatre for Children has developed a communications strategy that combines live theater and multiplatform educational materials to communicate complex messages to hard-to-reach audiences. Mad About Money is a four-part program that teaches children about forming savings habits, evaluating risks, and the difference between a debit card and a credit card.
My Money Management is a unique industrywide effort to provide consumers with comprehensive financial education resources to help guide their personal finance decision-making process. This Web site provides consumers with tools and resources from a variety of sources, including financial service companies, advocacy organizations, and personal finance experts. My Money Management is an initiative of the Financial Services Roundtable.
Smarty Pig is a free, online savings account for people who want to save for specific goals. The account also is FDIC-insured. A person types in the dollar amount they wish to save and the time frame in which they would like to reach their goal. The Web site technology suggests a monthly deposit amount to the account holder to reach that goal.
The U.S. Social Security Administration offers a wide variety of new and important publications and other resources and tools for the public about retirement, benefits, and support for family members in the event of disabilities or death.
Wells Fargo recently launched a free virtual world, “Stagecoach Island,” an entertaining and interactive companion site to Hands on Banking, its free financial education program. Teens can explore the island and its hidden secrets, connect with friends and make new ones, and learn smart money management. Educators can use the “Stagecoach Island” virtual world in the West Texas Center for Economic Education classroom to teach important lessons in budgeting, saving, managing credit, buying a home, and getting a job. Participants earn virtual money by visiting the Learning Lounge, and answering questions about money management. They can also obtain virtual jobs, credit cards, and home loans giving players the opportunity to learn, earn, build and, play in a virtual world.
The American Bankers Association has launched “Teach Children To Save,” a Web site designed to make classroom lessons for children available to everyone. The site offers tips for young people and their parents on how to establish a budget, start a savings account, and make regular deposits.
The National Endowment for Financial Education has developed a new Web site dedicated to help people optimize their retirement paycheck by making wise decisions.
HelpWithMyBank.gov - The OCC’s Web site that provides answers to more than 300 commonly asked banking questions. While targeted at national bank customers, the site answers many questions common to all banking consumers and provides useful information about contacting regulators of state banks, thrifts, and other financial institutions. A link from HOPE NOW to HelpWithMyBank.gov has been established. MyMoney.gov - The U.S. government's Web site dedicated to teaching all Americans the basics of financial education. The site houses important information from 20 federal agencies on such topics as buying a home, foreclosure prevention, deposit insurance, privacy, fraud, scams, balancing a checkbook, and investing in a 401(k).