Michigan State University Extension is working to increase the financial literacy of Michigan residents. To that end, Extension educators trained Michigan municipal clerks to use their civic involvement to pass the knowledge and awareness of Extension’s support on.
At the Michigan Association of Municipal Clerks conference June 22 and 23 at Shanty Creek Resorts in Bellaire in June, MSU Extension staff members educated clerks, whose traditional responsibilities have changed with the times and the demands on local government. Wanda Repke, MSU Extension educator, and Anne Lilla, MSU Extension financial and housing education coordinator, presented a session, “MSU Extension Programs to Help Residents in These Trying Times,” and provided an educational display.
Participants received a brief overview of Extension’s history and ways that it transforms lives, addresses state problems and enhances state assets. The clerks learned that Extension, through the Greening Michigan Institute (GMI), is educating people about home ownership, foreclosure prevention and money management. They were invited to take the Financial Health Index Survey designed by Dr. Lisa D. Cook, MSU assistant professor in the James Madison College and the Department of Economics. The clerks were also encouraged to add a link on their municipal websites to www.mimoneyhealth.org, a Web-based education site developed by the Extension GMI Financial, Housing and Energy Education work team.
Clerk participants engaged in active learning and tested their knowledge about credit and money by taking a credit pre-test using the TurningPoint audience response system and playing a credit vocabulary game.
This is just one part of our effort to help cities and towns succeed financially by educating local government and is the featured program for the GMI in the I Know MI Numbers campaign.