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From fairy tales to family finances

March 28, 2014

Money Smart Week logoUntil we find that goose laying golden eggs, we are all going to have to learn to manage credit and debt wisely.

Luckily, NIU’s Center for Economic Education and STEM Outreach are offering a workshop for educators and a STEM Café for the general public to help people learn about financial literacy. And, in the spirit of making smart financial decisions, organizers are offering these events for free!

From 4:15 to 6:15 p.m. Monday, April 7, Mary Beth Henning and Judith Dymond from NIU’s Center for Economic Education (CEE) will host “Curriculum-Rich: Using Children’s Literature to Teach Financial Literacy” at 4-C: Community Coordinated Child Care, 155 N. Third St. in DeKalb.

This economic education workshop will introduce educators and child care professionals to books and activities that will help students practice essential math and literacy Common Core skills while learning about income, saving and money management. First-time participants will receive a free digital library that contains more than 1,400 lessons.

NIU CEE is presenting this event in partnership with DeKalb Public Library and 4-C: Community Coordinated Child Care. Registration is required. Email [email protected] to register. Include “Children’s Literature Workshop” in the subject line of the email.

Close-up photo of credit cardAt 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 8, STEM Outreach will continue Money Smart Week with a special STEM Café, “Making Credit Work for You.” This lively, humorous presentation about using credit, affording debt, managing student loans and living debt free will take place at Eduardo’s Mexican Restaurant, 214 E. Lincoln Hwy. in DeKalb. Presenters include bankruptcy attorneys Joseph Schorer and Donna Wallace, part of the Illinois Credit Abuse Resistance Education (CARE) program designed to alert adults about consumer credit abuse.

Schorer has worked as a bankruptcy lawyer and corporate finance lawyer for more than 30 years. He has represented banks (many of them credit card issuers and student loan lenders) and corporations as both creditors and bankruptcy debtors. He is also leader of the Chicago-area CARE and a member of the program’s national advisory board.

Schorer wants to share information about student loans, a pressing financial issue for NIU students and recent graduates. “There are smart alternatives to student loans as ways to use credit. Not all student loans are the same,” Schorer says. “Some are much more toxic than others.”

Wallace represented debtors and trustees for more than 25 years and has first-hand knowledge of how people can get into trouble by misusing credit. “We want people to learn to be intelligent consumers of credit,” she says. “Whether your income is large or small, you can get into trouble by misusing credit.”

“Making Credit Work for You” is part of NIU STEM Outreach’s series of monthly STEM Cafés, which are free and open to the public. Food and drinks are available for purchase from the host restaurant. For more information, call (815) 753-4751 or email [email protected].