Athens Review, Athens, Texas

February 1, 2013

Back to the basics

‘Money Matters’ classes continue

Jeff Riggs
Athens Daily Review

Athens — Free adult education classes called “Basic Money Matters,” which began at the Henderson County Murchison Memorial Library on Tuesday, Jan. 8, will bring a few different benefits to different people. 

Such is the case with at least two women currently attending the classes.

Student Gloria VanDenBerg, a resident of Illinois, believes this is a good way to spend her winter.

“I spend my winters here in Athens,” she said. “I have relatives here. As for the classes, I like them. They are very informational. This week (Tuesday), we will talk about budgeting.”

Topics covered at the classes include bank services and accounts, borrowing basics, checking, debits accounts and ATMs, budgeting, ways to save and grow money, protecting your consumer rights, credit reports, credit cards, installment loans, and renting or owning a home.

VanDenBerg said she likes to learn new information about most any subject.  She believes this was an opportunity to learn something new.

“It’s both new to me, and information I already knew,” she said. The classes are led by Paula Winter. She has extensive experience in providing adult education seminars, including topics of nutrition and stress management.

Winter managed the wellness program at Bell Helicopter before moving to East Texas. The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation provided her training and materials for the seminar.

Another student of the classes is not doing this as much for herself, as for her granddaughter, a 14-year-old student at Cross Roads Junior High, who also attends the Basic Money Matters classes.

Sandra Mallie of Athens said her children were not offered something like the Basic Money Matters classes, and it was apparent in later life.

“I want my granddaughter to benefit from it. That’s the main reason I’m doing it,” Mallie said. “My five children, when they got out into the world, they didn’t know how to write a check.  Of course, I didn’t know about that until years later. They are all grown now.”

Mallie said the series of classes teach such activities as opening up a checking account, and learning the fundamentals of writing a check, investing in catts and other subjects.

“It supplies pretty good knowledge, and is very thorough,” she said. “It’s got little things I didn’t know.  It’s good information.  One can never know everything.”

Mallie said she recommends that parents bring their children to the classes.

“I guarantee they are going to learn,” she said. “It’s a positive thing.”

Classes are from 6:15 p.m. to 7:45 p.m. at the library on Tuesdays through March 12. 

Henderson County Murchison Memorial Library Head Librarian Lorie Travi is pleased with Winter’s  performance as an instructor, and with the subject matter presented.

“I think the classes are good,” travis said. “I’m just glad we have a volunteer that’s willing to do that for free. Actually, our volunteer coordinator, Glenda Rudolph,  brought it to my attention that (Winter) could do this for us. I thought the money management would be beneficial to people. We’re hoping to offer a  health program by this same person in the future.”

Travi said that people are encouraged to sign up for any number of classes that haven’t already been presented in the series. 

Attendees need to preregister, by either signing up at the library at 121 S.  Prairieville St., or by calling the library at 903-677-7295.