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A regional micro-lender has partnered with Ninth District Opportunity, Inc. to provide financial education courses to parents of Head Start students.
“Head Start is a federal (early, childhood education) program for low income families, who often struggle to make ends meet on a regular basis,” said Danna Lowery, Ninth District Head Start program specialist.
“If we can assist these families in developing better ways to meet their basic needs, then perhaps we can eventually set them on a path of thinking about financial security in the future.”
Although the Cleveland-based financial institution has partnered with Ninth District in the past, this is the first time the collective has targeted Head Start families.
“Part of Appalachian Community Enterprise’s mission is to help low-income people find financial opportunities,” said Liz Penney, the institution’s director of community outreach.
“We hope to make this an ongoing series. Ideally, we’d like to be able to do a session at least once a month.”
During the sessions, participants will learn things like how to set a budget and how to practice good money management habits.
“The goal of the program is to develop a curriculum of financial literacy classes that is meaningful to our families,” Lowery said.
To help ensure relevancy, a few parents were invited to participate in the workshop planning process, which is currently under way.
“We wanted to have parents on the planning committee to make sure that the classes would be something that they would enjoy taking and learning about,” Penney said.
While the workshops are only for Head Start parents, Penney says organizers hope that the participants take what they learn and pass on knowledge to others in their communities.
The financial literacy workshop will be divided into a series of three individual courses.
“Participants will have (homework) between sessions, so that they can put the lessons into action. At the next session they will report back on how it went and we can discuss what worked and what didn’t,” Penney said.
“The first two session will be about attitudes toward money, saving and spending patterns. The third session will be about ways to increase income and goal setting.”
The partners expect to launch the financial literacy workshops in the fall.