Staff is right on the money ‒ and the media ‒ during Money Smart Week

Our Michigan State University Extension staff are shaking up the airwaves assisting people with financial issues during Money Smart Week.

A group of our colleagues staffed the phones and talked to about 60 people during the Fox 2 News Detroit morning show April 22 from 6:30 a.m. to noon. Participants included Extension educators Terry Clark-Jones, Mike Crouch, Jean Lakin and Wanda Roberts and Extension program instructors Pam Sarlitto and Khurram Imam.

Jean said, “The problems people called about are far too complicated to solve in a quick conversation. But educators were able to direct people to the correct professionals ‒ housing counselors, attorneys.”

In addition to answering the phones, each staff member appeared on air at least twice to discuss financial management questions with Murray Feldman, Fox 2 News.

Kelly Masters, a consultant who was hired by the Federal Reserve to coordinate Money Smart Week events in the Detroit Metro area, set up the opportunity. People from partner agencies also staffed the phone lines.

In this economy, people need all of the help they can get and that’s where MSU Extension comes in.

Jean said, “Our job isn’t done. Based on the volume of calls, financial issues are definitely something people are struggling with, and we’re here to help people work through those issues.”

In addition, MSU Extension educator Erica Tobe was one of four presenters April 20 at a special live broadcast presentation with WTVS, a Detroit PBS station. The show, presented in a lightning round/game show format to an overflowing audience, educates consumers on protecting, saving, managing and growing their money. It will air July 20 at 8 p.m.

Jean described both of these events as “out-of-the-box ways to promote financial literacy.”

It’s how our colleagues usually perform and the way we get things done – out of the box.

Educators throughout the state are doing similar programming, and I’m afraid to start mentioning them for fear I’ll forget someone. If you’re doing a Money Smart Week activity, please tell us about it in the comments below.

Money Smart Week is a public awareness campaign created by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago that was designed to help consumers manage their personal finances more effectively. It runs April 20–27. Events will take place throughout Metro Detroit, Michigan and the United States.

Listen to this Oakland County podcast on Money Smart Week featuring Wanda Roberts: http://www.oakgov.com/podcast/Pages/Episode.aspx?EpisodeId=194

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One response to “Staff is right on the money ‒ and the media ‒ during Money Smart Week

  1. Brenda Long

    Kudos also to the five MSUE staff, Sharon Jeffery, Jim Buxton, Al Gaiefsky, Vivian Washington, and Brenda Long, who expertly answered non-stop viewer email questions in a live Fox2 News chat room 4/22 from 7am to noon. Just like our colleagues answering phones in the newsroom, we had numerous questions about credit, debt, foreclosure, and bankruptcy from viewers.