Columbus discovers MoneyWi$e

Community Outreach Manager, Linda Williams, traveled to Columbus, Ohio to train front-line social service advocates, social workers, educators and faith-based organizations on MoneyWi$e. MoneyWi$e is a renowned financial literacy program developed by Consumer Action in partnership with Capital One.
Published: Friday, June 04, 2010

Front-line social service advocates, social workers, educators and faith-based organizations gathered in Columbus, Ohio for two days of training in mid-May on MoneyWi$e. MoneyWi$e, a joint project of Consumer Action and Capital One is a renowned financial literacy program.

When advocates from over 65 community and faith-based organizations in the city of Columbus jammed phone lines to register for the training, Consumer Action extended it to two days to meet the need.

Williams began both trainings by sharing Consumer Action’s mission to “help individual consumers assert their rights in the marketplace” with participants, noting that the MoneyWi$e Financial Educational Program is one of the ways the organization is achieving this mission.

Williams next introduced the groups to an interactive participant-centered training on how and why adults learn How Adults Learn. She explained that teaching adults is very different from teaching children and discussed various ways in which adult learners assimilate, sort, retain, retrieve, and reproduce new information. Williams told participants that, as trainers, they must consider the different learning styles in their trainings in order to maximize the learning potential of each individual attending the training. Williams stressed the importance of trainers recognizing that, unlike children, adults have many circumstances, such as lack of time, money, information about opportunities to learn, confidence, or problems with childcare, that they must balance against the demands of learning.

Following the session on teaching adults, Williams facilitated sessions on rebuilding credit and money management using a mix of lectures and hands-on activities, such as completing a puzzle highlighting key concepts in the Rebuilding Credit module. The goal of the fun-filled challenges was to promote active learning, team building, and repetition to reinforce key concepts presented during the session.

During the money management sessions, Williams demonstrated for participants how the Money Management module could be used to train their clients on creating a savings and spending plan, setting financial goals, tracking and cutting expenses, and implementing and sticking to a realistic budget. She also walked them through a case management plan for a fictional client, Sally Walker. The activity employed a team-learning approach as participants brainstormed ways to solve the problem. The activity also served as a tool to reinforce the concepts presented in both the Rebuilding Credit and Money Management modules, and it introduced key concepts such as handling collection accounts, identity theft, and bankruptcy and specialty consumer reports. Most participants were stunned to learn about the availability of the reports and that consumers are entitled to a free report annually.

Williams ended both trainings by encouraging participants to use the online interactive financial education modules launched by CA and Capital One to train their participants. She pointed out that the online courses, which can be assessed at MoneyWi$e website, offer case studies, interactive tips, and training exercises along with a variety of resources based upon the MoneyWise curriculum. Williams challenged each participant to use all the tools at their disposal to empower and educate their clients.




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