Money Smart Week is coming to Fort Dodge in April, but some related activities will begin this week.
A financial literacy outreach program developed by the Federal Reserve Bank in 2002, the public awareness campaign will be making its official local debut during Money Smart Week, April 20 to 27.
However, an Iowa State University Extension open house will be held at Crossroads Mall on Saturday, and some events for the younger set will be held Wednesday and Thursday.
David Oppedahl, a speaker from the Federal Reserve, will talk about prospects for small business development in rural America during the kickoff luncheon - which was scheduled around his availability two days before the actual Money Smart Week begins, said Barb Wollan, ISU Extension family finance program specialist.
"The events before (Money Smart Week) primarily involve raising kids' awareness and being able to send home a few things to make their parents aware," Wollan said.
There will be a poster contest for school children, with local prizes awarded; posters will be on display at the Fort Dodge Public Library and other sites.
A statewide essay contest will be held for high school students, Wollan said.
Money Smart Week made its debut in the Des Moines area in 2007 and began expanding to other Iowa communities. When Wollan overheard co-workers from other Extension offices talking about programs being held in Harlan and Creston, she decided Fort Dodge should also be a site.
A local committee formed last fall.
"This is our first year doing Money Smart Week as a local campaign," she said. "We hope and expect it will continue and be the kind of thing on an ongoing basis that plants in people's minds that they have some options and control" over their financial situation year round and not just during one special week per year.
The program is designed to help consumers better manage their personal finances. Programming is offered to all demographics and income levels and covers all facets of personal finance from establishing a budget to first-time home buying to real estate planning.
Local events include:
Ben Franklin visits Community Christian School - Wednesday
Ben Franklin visits St. Paul Lutheran School - Wednesday
Ben Franklin visits St. Edmond School - Thursday
Iowa State University Extension open house - Crossroads Mall - Saturday
Money Smart Week Kickoff Luncheon - Cana - April 18
Smart Money, Safe Money, Foster Grandparent Training - April 18
Plan for Your Future, Fort Dodge Public Library - April 22
Geocache for College Cash - Iowa Central Community College - April 22-25
Powers of Attorney, Noon Kiwanis - April 23
Sandwich Generation: Financial Issues - Fort Dodge Public Library - April 23
Money Smart Poster Contest - All Webster County schools - April 23
Money Smart Kids - St. Edmond After School Program - April 23
Money Smart Kids - Blast After School Program - April 25
Your Money: Make the Most of What you Have - Epworth United Methodist Church - April 25