Clayton County Library System, Jonesboro, GA

Clayton County Library System provided financial education experiences tailored to the needs of four audiences—entrepreneurs, financially disenfranchised families, senior citizens, and youth. The project enhanced their prospects for self-sufficiency through financial literacy training, provided the fundamentals for economic decision-making, and connected them to community resources. For entrepreneurs, the library joined forces with Clayton State University’s Small Business Development Center and the county’s Economic Development Department to deliver an investing 101 series. For financially disenfranchised families, the library partnered with social service agencies and faith-based organizations to provide money management guidance. For senior citizens, the library and the Department of Senior Services provided sessions at senior centers on estate planning, savvy investing, and managing retirement income. For youth, the library worked with 4-H, scout groups, and the Parks and Recreation Department to integrate financial literacy lessons into the county’s summer reading program.

Key Activities: 

  • Established instructional, marketing, and training alliances with the Consumer Protection Unit of the Georgia Department of Law, the Atlanta Regional Office of the FDIC, the Better Business Bureau of Metro Atlanta, AARP-Georgia, BetterInvesting, the Southwest Atlanta Business Organization, Clayton County Schools, 4-H, Operation HOPE, Clayton County Senior Centers, Habitat for Humanity, Clayton State University, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, Clayton County Cooperative Extension, and mega churches in the community (for marketing assistance).
  • Organized youth activities to encourage participants to explore age-appropriate personal finance resources in the library’s collections.
  • Integrated money themes into the library’s summer reading program.
  • Worked closely with school administrators to address the financial literacy requirements of fifth grade students in nine elementary schools (as well as home schooling families).
  • Partnered with Operation HOPE to deliver the Banking on Our Future curriculum to students at 14 Clayton County schools.
  • Conducted money storytime programs at the library for young families. This included Spanish-language sessions delivered with Clayton State University’s PACE program (Partnering Academics and Community Engagement).
  • Developed a system-wide partnership with Girl Scout groups to help participants earn the financial literacy badge.
  • Conducted the Reality Check financial simulation for teen groups, including ninth and tenth graders at Riverdale High School in partnership with the University of Georgia Extension.
  • Hosted a Money Camp for tweens during spring break and during the summer.
  • Facilitated game-based family workshops to improve household finances.
  • Hosted a “Dinner and a Money Movie” series in partnership with financial educators from local agencies and nonprofits. Movies in the series included The Pursuit of Happyness, The Big Short, and The Princess and the Frog.
  • For low-income residents, offered workshops emphasizing general financial fitness, understanding credit, and establishing solid money management skills.
  • Collaborated with Riverdale Parks and Recreation and the Riverdale City Manager to offer the FDIC Money Smart Program for low-income adults.
  • Delivered credit and money management workshops co-sponsored with Habitat for Humanity.
  • Delivered quarterly personal finance programs for small business owners based in part on the FDIC Money Smart program.
  • Collaborated with Clayton County Senior Centers and AARP to present programs on fraud prevention and estate planning.
  • Organized sessions on debt management at the Financial Freedom Forum hosted by Clayton State University.

Looking to take your library’s financial literacy efforts to the next level? Connect with ALA’s Financial Literacy Interest Group.