All My Money: Change for the Better has many unique features that make it easy for facilitators to use and easy for participants to learn.
All My Money: Change for the Better is written for staff or volunteers of agencies and organizations serving limited resource audiences. Reading level, examples, illustrations, and concepts were carefully reviewed to be audience appropriate. In addition, each lesson was field tested by individuals teaching financial management to limited resource audiences.
The curriculum used a research-based approach to assure that it addresses the issues and needs of today's limited-resource audiences. The curriculum content was driven by the results of a needs assessment survey of agencies serving limited-resource audiences and the financial education core competencies identified by the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (US Department of the Treasury). Each lesson was peer reviewed by professionals in the field of financial education.
The format and appearance of each lesson and handout was professionally designed to be inviting to both facilitators and participants. One example is the curriculum's mascot, Cash Cat. In the curriculum's logo, Cash Cat makes the idea of money management less intimidating. Throughout the curriculum, he adds visual appeal and draws the user in.
The length of each lesson can be adapted to fit the time available. There are 30 minute and 60 minute versions of each lesson.
The curriculum is designed so that most lessons can stand on their own or be taught as part of a series; for example, you can teach a single lesson or a series of up to eight sessions.
The lessons are hands-on and allow participants to learn from each other and from the activities. Very little of the instruction requires the facilitator to lecture. Instead, participants learn through discussion, games, case examples, demonstrations, and by applying the information to their everyday lives. Activities often provide alternate ways of teaching activities for different audiences.
There is a difference in being a presenter versus a facilitator. A presenter is an expert who says, "Learn from me!" while a facilitator says, "I'll help you learn!" All My Money: Change for the Better is designed so that people who may not have expertise in personal finance can easily facilitate the lessons; they are not presenting the information to their audience as an expert. From experiences teaching this new version and the previous versions of All My Money, some of the best tips and tricks we've learned came directly from participants who were being facilitated to instead of presented or lectured to. Being a facilitator means you learn from being a part of the process!
Lessons include discussion guides and links to other resources so that facilitators have access to reliable, accurate information when needed.
The All My Money: Change for the Better curriculum comes on a flash drive with PDF files of all lesson materials. You also receive a Resource Box containing re-usable materials for activities such as game cards, play money, puzzle pieces, category cards, and beads, as well a supply of reproducible items that are given to participants, such as the Take Charge Card wallet card.
Masters for all participant handouts and Resource Box items are included on the flash drive, so that facilitators can reproduce these items as needed.
The curriculum is comprised of eight educational lessons, a facilitator guide (What Makes a Good Facilitator?) and a Resource Box of activity materials. The lessons follow a set format that makes it easy to teach. Each lesson contains: