Grace Center opens financial literacy course to public

Sierra Rains

The Grace Center of Southern Oklahoma will be opening up its financial literacy course to the general public for the first time this week.

Grace Center Financial Literacy Coordinator Ellen Roberts said clients who receive assistance from the Grace Center are already required to attend a weekly money management class— however, the organization is seeking to reach and help educate a broader audience over the next six weeks.

The six-week course, titled “Money Management: Getting the most out of what you have,” will kick off on Wednesday, Feb. 12 and will be held each following Wednesday until March 18. Participants who complete all six weeks of the course will be eligible for additional bill assistance up to $200, Roberts said.

The regular course for Grace Center clients runs for about an hour or less. However, Roberts said the course that will be open to the public will be a little longer, lasting from 11:00 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Lunch will be provided.

“It’s definitely a pretty quick overview of some pretty complicated subjects,” Roberts said. “We always have clients that are interested in more information that I’m just not able to cover in that hour long class. So we just thought that it would be something beneficial to offer to our clients that goes in depth a little more specifically into some of the topics that we cover.”

Financial literacy isn’t always explicitly taught or covered in schools, Roberts said. Yet pretty much everyone uses financial literacy in their day-to-day lives whether they’re aware of it or not, she said.

“Even things like when you go to the store and you are comparing prices between things or you’re trying to look at the unit prices of things— that’s a form of financial literacy,” Roberts said.

The main focus of the class will be using the tools and knowledge available to make the most of what financial resources individuals have— whether it’s a little or a lot, Roberts said. This includes more in-depth coverage of topics such as budgeting, spending, saving, banking, credit, insurance and rental agreements.

“We also are going to partner with Legal Aid and they are going to have someone come and speak about lease agreements, rental agreements, and how to read over those agreements— any red flags to look for,” Roberts said. “I think that’s something that will be really helpful to our clients.”

Roberts said individuals with all ranges of knowledge on financial literacy are welcome to attend the course. Those planning to attend should call (580) 223-2027 by the morning of Wednesday, Feb. 12 to register. All courses will be held at the Grace Center, located at 11 A St. NW in Ardmore.

“I hope that it will give them some tools that they could use on a daily, weekly, monthly basis to just manage what they have better,” Roberts said, adding that the Grace Center hopes to offer more courses to the public in the future if the money management course goes well.

“This is our first one so we’ll see how it goes, see what kind of turn out we get, see what kind of feedback we get and go from there.”