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Money School: Second Successful Year

Money School CoverAIER’s Money School continues to improve the financial literacy of people in the Berkshires who have been affected by domestic or sexual violence. The Elizabeth Freeman Center, our longstanding Money School partner, presented the second year of the program.

The center held three of the workshops in 2016, two in Pittsfield in March and April and one in Great Barrington in May. Thirty-six individuals completed the curriculum covering maximizing their income, budgeting, credit and debt, resume writing, and education and employment resources, among other topics.

In addition to gathering information and practicing skills, participants benefited from volunteer financial coaches who helped the workshop participants navigate a credit report, and develop strategies for improving their credit scores.

Participants said they enjoyed the experience of learning as a group. The sharing between participants helped them better learn the qualities that are at the center of AIER’s Money School philosophy: competence, confidence, and connections.

AIER helped analyze the results of the 2016 series, and found an impressive impact on the competence and confidence of the participants after they completed the program. For example, 91 percent now have people to turn to for financial advice, and 78 percent met individually with someone for help with financial matters.

Eighty-one percent now know where to find resources to maximize their income, and 72 percent are more comfortable with creating and following a budget. And sixty-seven percent now follow a plan to reach their financial goals, and know what to do when faced with a financial challenge.

In the fall of 2016 and the spring of 2017, the Elizabeth Freeman Center will run five more Money School workshops, and one of them will be conducted in Spanish. The first five-week series is planned to start on September 27, 2016, in Pittsfield. There will be a workshop in Great Barrington as well as others announced at a later date. Please contact Donna Larocque, Money School Coordinator/Facilitator at Elizabeth Freeman Center, for more information and to sign up: 413.499.2425 x613 or donnal@elizabethfreemancenter.org.

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