MoneyWi$e travels East

Published: Monday, December 28, 2009

Consumer Action and Capital One co-hosted a week of MoneyWi$e training in New York and New Jersey. MoneyWi$e curricula includes: brochures, leader's guides, lesson plans and power point slides. It was developed by Consumer Action in partnership with Capital One.

Members of Consumer Action’s community outreach team traveled to the East Coast in November, providing financial literacy MoneyWi$e trainings to community-based organizations and bankers. MoneyWi$e is a joint project of Consumer Action and Capital One.

The team conducted full day trainings in Brooklyn, NY, New York City, NY and Jersey City, NJ on timely topics such as establishing good credit, rebuilding credit, money management, identity theft and senior scams.

In Brooklyn, the team successfully trained 31 community-based organizations. After the training, 71% of the organizations surveyed felt they had gained sufficient understanding and confidence to teach financial education to low-income adults using the MoneyWi$e materials. Consumer Action Community Outreach Manager Nelson Santiago kicked off the day by teaching the Good Credit module. After the lecture segment of his presentation, Santiago engaged the crowd with a word scramble activity. This activity was a timed exercise that tested the audience’s knowledge about establishing good credit.

Consumer Action Community Outreach Manager Linda Williams led the Money Management session. Williams divided the audience into groups to develop a case management plan for a fictional client, “Sally Walker”. The teams did not realize that Williams was guiding them on a journey through the Money Management session while giving them real-world case management training. After the teams presented their sample plans to the rest of the group, Williams went through the Money Management training slides and showed participants areas that could have been considered in developing Sally’s case management plan. One member of the audience said, “ I think the best activity was the assessment of Sally Walker.”

The last session of the day provided hands-on training to the groups on presenting the Rebuilding Credit module to an audience. The audience was broken down into six teams. Each team was given a section of the Power Point slides to study along with the lesson plan, brochure and leader’s guide. The teams were charged with delivering the materials to the rest of the group in whatever manner they deemed fit. The teams presented the materials to the audience in very most creative ways, including role-play and poetry. The purpose of the exercise was to demonstrate how quickly staff of CBOs can grasp the MoneyWi$e materials, and creatively and effectively present them to their clients.

In New York City, Consumer Action taught a different though not unfamiliar audience. The outreach and training team trained 53 Capital One bankers from the greater New York and New Jersey footprint on Rebuilding Credit, Identity Theft and Senior Scams. Of the 53 trained, 30 (64%) surveyed answered that they had sufficient information from the MoneyWi$e training to help them to promote financial literacy in their market.

The team enjoyed training the bankers just as much as training the community- based organizations, as both are eager students. One banker surveyed requested that the training be longer so they could learn more. Yet another banker participant said that the training was engaging and insightful.

In Jersey City, trainers worked with 39 participants, including a mix of long-time and newly trained financial educators. Of the 39 participants, 35 (90%) of those surveyed felt that the training had an appropriate mix of lecture, discussion among all trainees, and discussion among people at each table. The training team was able to delve further into the discussions of Understanding Good Credit, Rebuilding Credit and Money Management with the Jersey City audience, because there were a larger percentage of actual credit counselors in the room.

The Jersey City regional meeting followed a similar format with a combination of lecture and “fishbowl” exercise. A fishbowl exercise enables participants to test their knowledge of a subject matter by presenting to their peers.

Capital One’s Bert Davis, Senior Associate, Volunteers Affairs provided a session on teaching adults at all three trainings. Davis discussed how adults learn, what their motivations are for learning, and how trainers can capture the adult audience and get their message across. Davis provided both scientific and anecdotal examples of how to reach adults.

 
 
 

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