08/25/13 — Financial literacy is focus of new effort

View Archive

Financial literacy is focus of new effort

By Matt Caulder
Published in News on August 25, 2013 1:50 AM

The United Way of Wayne County will introduce its new financial literacy initiative, Bank On Wayne, at a breakfast at Lane Tree Golf Club on Tuesday morning.

The program, expected to begin in January, aims at expanding the number of people in Wayne County using bank accounts, while educating them on good financial practices, United Way Associate Director Karen Schneider said.

"We really want to educate people," Schneider said. "Financial education is the majority of what we're doing."

The breakfast will begin at 7:30 a.m. and will introduce the program to area business owners and service organizations such as the Salvation Army.

"We feel this will be populated by referrals, when someone comes to (the organizations) asking for help they'll be sending folks to this," she said.

A dry run using a focus group made up of members of the First African Baptist Church will test the program beginning in September.

Volunteers from area banks will teach the classes, which will be held at the church until moving to Literacy Connections of Wayne County starting after the first of the year.

The program is modeled after the National League of Cities' "Bank On" program, and is the first to be offered in North Carolina, Schneider said.

The national program focuses heavily on enrolling participants in bank accounts, but the Wayne County effort will focus more on educating people about possible financial pitfalls such as aggressive lenders, she said.

"We were looking at what was needed in Wayne County and came upon this," Schneider said. "United Way decided to take a pro-active approach to the problem."

The breakfast Tuesday is aimed at informing the "middle-men" in the community about the program.

"We are looking to create awareness for the employers with workers that could benefit from this," Schneider said. "We are trying to help people keep more of their own money.

All are welcome to attend and are asked to contact Schneider at 919-735-3591 or by email at karen@unitedwayne.org to reserve a spot before Monday afternoon.