Posts Tagged ‘financial literacy’

Financial Literacy and Microfinance

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By Sheethal Shobowale, KF9, Peru

Doris, one of the loan officers at Asociación Arariwa, has been working with clients in Urubamba and Cusco for 17 years.

I sat in on one of the monthly loan payment meetings of one of her communal banks, Aguas Buenas. All members paid their monthly payments on time, but two of the members asked permission beforehand not to attend. Because of their absence, Doris commented on the importance of attending the monthly meetings, saying “No vamos a lograr nada” (We won’t achieve anything this way). She even called one of the absent members on her cellphone to remind them of the importance of attending monthly meetings.

Attendance is importance especially since during each meeting, loan officers teach a short workshop on different topics such as financial literacy, business training, family well-being or health. In this meeting Doris taught a lesson on setting financial goals. Having done some financial literacy workshops for teenagers and some credit counseling for adults in my work with the Lower East Side Credit Union in New York, I was excited and honored to see Arariwa’s financial literacy training in action, especially by a loan officer as experience as Doris.

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WNYC – News – Many New Yorkers Live in Zip Codes Without Banks

I heard this on the radio this morning.  This sounds like the Lower East Side of Manhattan before they started the LES People’s Federal Credit Union.  Now the neighborhood has changed and there are many banks in the

WNYC – News – Many New Yorkers Live in Zip Codes Without Banks

NEW YORK, NY July 13, 2009 —Some 280,000 New Yorkers live in zip codes without a single bank. That’s according to an investigation from city councilman Eric Gioia.

REPORTER: He says if a check cashing place is the only financial institution in a neighborhood, it’s nearly impossible for residents to make it into the middle class.

GIOIA: Without a bank, you can’t save up for college, you can’t even get a credit card, so a mortgage is completely out of the question.

REPORTER: The Queens Democrat, who is a candidate for public advocate, is calling on the city to aggressively market empty commercial space to banks. He also wants the state to allow credit unions to be part of banking development districts.

(Shared via AddThis)


Also in the New York Post

A Queens councilman yesterday called for a summit between banks and city officials to find a way to get financial institutions into low-income areas.

“We’re living in a two-tiered city,” Democrat Eric Gioia said at a news conference at 32nd Street and Park Avenue, where there are six banks.

In a recent study, Gioia said, his office found that the city has eight ZIP codes without a bank.

One way to bring banks to these areas is to aggressively market vacant retail spaces to banks and credit unions, the councilman said.


I was looking to for a list of zipcodes that don’t currently have banks.  I saw Queensbridge on Councilmember Gioia’s website but couldn’t find a complete list.

Incidentally, the councilmember is on Twitter (@EricGioia).

The Lower East Side People’s Federal Credit Union is helpful to the community for its affordable financial services as well as financial literacy training.  They help low-income New Yorkers receive benefits and services they need, while keeping members away from check cashers and payday lenders.  They also operate a free tax preperation (VITA) site during the spring, helping neighbors receive the Earned Income Tax Credit if eligible.

The Extraordinaries: Will Microvolunteering Work [for financial literacy]? : NPR

The Extraordinaries: Will Microvolunteering Work?

via The Extraordinaries: Will Microvolunteering Work? : NPR.

The gist:

Got five minutes? Got a cell phone? Want to do good?  The Extraordinaries can help. It’s one of a number of newly hatched social-media enterprises that champion speedy cooperation. Here is the 30-second elevator pitch: The Extraordinaries delivers microvolunteer opportunities to mobile phones that can be done on-demand and on-the-spot.


Would this concept work for a financial literacy mentorship program?  It does mention “giving advice to college applicants” as one of the microvolunteering possibilities.

What financial literacy questions could be answered for a mentee while waiting in line at the supermarket?

Could this make sense?


More on this as I explore the concept a bit more…  Just wanted to get a thought started before my ADD-ness causes me to move on to something else before I record it.

Have a good weekend!

Expiration of mayoral control of NYC schools

This is sad because of the ridiculousness of the senate to waste our money but mostly because our children’s educations will suffer, financial and otherwise.


NEW YORK, NY – Geoffrey Canada, Chairman of the Board of Learn NY, released the following statement regarding the expiration of the legislation instituting mayoral control of New York City’s schools:

“Today is a sad day. Without a vote by the Senate before 11:59 p.m., which appears unlikely, the New York City school system, the largest in the country, will officially be without a governance structure. The old system that failed seven years ago has been disbanded, wisely, and putting it back into place cannot happen overnight – and if we want our children to keep making progress, we should not ever go back to it.

“The Senate’s inaction has put our children and their schools in limbo. With summer school starting tomorrow, the basic services that help our kids and parents get through the day are now uncertain. Important decisions over budgets, contracts and the hiring of teachers cannot be made. The entire system is subject to massive legal disputes. There is, quite literally, no one in charge.

“What do we tell the 1.1 million children who attend New York City public schools? What do we tell their parents – tens of thousands of whom contacted their legislators to support mayoral control? What do we tell the stakeholders and leaders who came together to discuss this issue and all decided that renewing mayoral control was the best course of action?

“Our grassroots effort, on behalf of the majority of parents who support mayoral control, is far from over. Every day that goes by without action, the Senate puts our schools at risk. Learn NY and its 79 coalition organizations will continue our efforts to advocate for renewal every day until the bill is passed.

“I have spent more than 25 years working for better schools in Harlem. I am not going to give up now. We will do whatever it takes to make sure that children do not fall through the cracks and that they have the schools they deserve.”

Cincinnati Public Schools to teach financial concepts in K-12

I have read several articles about schools mandating financial literacy curricula.  Here’s one from the Cincinnati Business Courier

Cincinnati Public Schools Superintendent Mary Ronan introduced on Tuesday a plan to teach a financial education to CPS students from kindergarten through grade 12.

Ronan made the announcement at a news conference with Ohio Auditor Mary Taylor.

“Today’s economy has taught us how important it is graduate well-rounded students who know how to thrive amid financial challenges,” Ronan said in a news release.

The curriculum was developed by the University of Cincinnati’s Economics Center for Education & Research. The idea grew from the Accounting For Kids program, an annual workshop for fifth- and sixth-graders that teaches financial literacy concepts. Cincinnati Public Schools students also participate in the program.

In kindergarten, for example, children will participate in activities centered on the financial side of owning a pet. By third grade, each child will have a classroom “job” and spend school-based currency at a mobile incentive van. Fifth-graders will learn about microenterprises and eighth-graders will study the basics of investing.

On the high school level, UC’s Economics Center for Education & Research, with input from more than 60 volunteers from the business community, will redesign CPS’ economics courses to include personal finance lessons like budgeting and managing a checking account.

New Ohio graduation requirements mandate that high school students study personal finance, beginning with the 2009-10 academic year.

I’ll watch the progress of other schools to do the same!