Atlanta Fed Releases Katrina's Classroom: Financial Lessons from a Hurricane DVD and Lesson Plans

For immediate release: May 9, 2007

Natural disasters and other emergencies place a strain on individuals and families, but there are important steps toward financial preparedness that these groups can take before a crisis strikes. Using lessons Gulf Coast residents learned before, during and after Hurricane Katrina, the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta developed Katrina's Classroom: Financial Lessons from a Hurricane. The four-part, DVD-based curriculum is designed to teach middle and high school students about financial readiness during an emergency and in day-to-day life.

The DVD introduces students to three real families who experienced and survived Hurricane Katrina. Each family's story is told by a teenager and offers important lessons about financial responsibility. Through their experiences, these teens learned the value of having a banking account and emergency savings, access to financial records and the importance of budgeting and using credit wisely. The curriculum also emphasizes the importance of education as a means to ensure future income. The curriculum that accompanies the DVD aligns with the national Jump$tart personal finance standards and is designed to be accessible to a range of student abilities.

"The Atlanta Fed is committed to helping teachers teach economics and personal finance," said Bobbie McCrackin, vice president and public affairs officer at the Atlanta Fed. "As the Atlanta Fed reached out to our New Orleans colleagues during and following Katrina, we realized that the experience of our employees and others from the Gulf Coast could teach many financial lessons. This was the basis for our development of Katrina's Classroom: Financial Lessons from a Hurricane."

The DVD and lesson plan are available for download or to order at Educators can also order these materials by contacting the education representative serving their area.

The Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta serves the Sixth Federal Reserve District, which encompasses Alabama, Florida, Georgia and parts of Louisiana, Mississippi and Tennessee. As part of the nation's central banking system, the Atlanta Fed participates in setting national monetary policy, supervises numerous commercial banks and provides a variety of financial services to depository institutions and the U.S. government. The Atlanta Fed offers economic and financial education outreach to teachers, students, and others through a variety of programs and activities.

Contact: Jean Tate 404-498-8035