Genesee District Library, Flint, MI

Genesee District Library collaborated with Central Michigan University and various state and county agencies to establish a “family financial freedom” education initiative with programming and services for K–12 students, as well as adults—especially African American women. Financial literacy instruction for youth was integrated into after-school enrichment programs, the library’s summer reading program, and a pre-employment and leadership-development initiative for high school students. Adult programs addressed credit, student loans, mortgages, fraud prevention, and investing for retirement.

Key Activities: 

  • Established a partnership with WCMU—Central Michigan University’s network of five television stations reaching 5 million residents—to run PSAs as well as personal finance talk shows as part of WCMU’s “Ask the Specialists” series.
  • Established partnerships with the Genesee County Regional Chamber of Commerce, Michigan Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation, the Attorney General’s Office, and the Genesee County Bar Association to assist with financial literacy programming for the public.
  • Partnered with Gordon & Friends, featuring Sesame Street actor Roscoe Orman (aka “Gordon”), to provide children’s programs using storytelling and hands-on activities to develop skills and knowledge related to saving, spending, and sharing. These programs proved as popular with adults (who had fond memories of “Gordon” from their childhood years) as with children.
  • Worked with the Genesee County Regional Chamber of Commerce to incorporate financial literacy education into the county’s existing youth development programs.
  • Established a partnership with a major Head Start program in Flint to provide financial education for parents enrolled in homebuyer workshops.
  • Sponsored author talks, seminars, and other programs for women, homeowners, African-American audiences, and other constituencies on topics such as financial fundamentals, empowering African-American women to take charge of their financial lives, avoiding financial scams and investment fraud (with the State Attorney General’s Office), organizing financial records, avoiding identity theft, retirement planning, preparing for college expenses, debt reduction, and building better credit.

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