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Money Smart Week at local libraries

By Staff | Apr 21, 2012

There will be programs for individuals, families and even kids during Money Smart Week hosted by the Lee County Library System. The goal is to to help consumers of all ages learn how to better manage their personal finances.

Besides adults learning about numerous topical financial matters, children can also learn the fundamentals of finance in fun and creative ways including making their own piggy bank.

The libraries have partnered with area financial and investment companies and designed their own unique programs to offer this series.

The idea was first developed in 2001 by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, and has been incorporated into many library systems since.

“The programs are very successful and growing every year,” said Program Coordinator for the Lee County Library System Voncile Williams.

“We thought it would be very helpful to our patrons to have something dealing with money smart tips and information that will help in these hard economic times.”

The programs will be presented April 22 to 28 at several Lee County Library System locations, including the Cape Coral-Lee County Public Library and the Northwest Regional Library in Cape Coral.

Subjects will include everything from retirement and investment strategies to family events on finance.

The week kicks off locally on Tuesday, April 24, in both Cape Coral and North Fort Myers with children’s programs designed to increase their financial knowledge in a fun way.

At 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 24, North Fort Myers Public Library will host “Monopoly & More” where children can test their money-smarts with board games like “Monopoly,” “Monopoly Deal” and “Life.”

Then at 6 p.m. that day, the Northwest Regional Library of Cape Coral will host “A Penny Saved Story Time and Craft.” There will be a special story and craft time, designed for children ages 3 to 8. Registration is required, which can be done online or at the library before the event.

Then the Pine Island Public Library will host Wacky Wednesday for children beginning at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25. Program officials said there will be great stories about money and the importance of saving, while children have fun, which will include making a craft.

The craft time at each will be the making of a piggy bank, a way to start saving at an early age.

“They are going to be doing activities and reading books on the subject matter of money, talking about piggy banks, and making a piggy bank craft. These programs are geared toward younger kids. You can start saving early,” Williams said.

“We try to take a subject matter that is not kid-friendly, and put it in a program that children will understand and also leave them with some tips about being smart with their money.”

For adults, the Cape Coral-Lee County Public Library will host “Plan for the Retirement You Want” at 2 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25. Nancy Collura of Merrill Lynch will discuss the ins and outs of retirement today, what current retirees say and the way forward. There you can learn about IRA rollover and Investing Strategies, and take control of your retirement, said Williams.

“Collura will talk about retirement plan options. This program will cover Social Security, Medicare, who is eligible and when you should start taking your benefits.”

For families, the Cape Coral-Lee County Public Library will hold a special Family Story Time for Money Smart Week at both 9:30 a.m. and 10:15 a.m. on Wednesday, April 25. The program is for the whole family and will last about 30 minutes.

Registration is requested.

The Cape Coral-Lee County Public Library is at 921 S.W. 39th Terrace and the Northwest Regional Library is at 519 Chiquita Blvd. N. The North Fort Myers Public Library is at 2001 N. Tamiami Trail NE and the Pine Island Public Library is at 10700 Russell Road NW, Bokeelia.

Full details about Money Smart Week events are available on the Lee County Library Systems electronic calendar at lee-county.com/library .

All programs are free and open to the public. A sign language interpreter is available with five business days notice to library staff. Assistive listening system available; request at desk. Information about Lee County Library System is available 24 hours a day at lee-county.com/library where you can find out about library services, programs, locations, view an online events calendar or place a hold on library items. Telephone Reference is available at 239-479-INFO (4636).