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CSREES Participates in America Saves Week - February 24-March 1

Jennifer Martin, (202) 720-8188

February 21, 2008

During America Saves Week, February 24 through March 1, Americans will be encouraged to assess their savings and participate in activities focused on savings needs, including debt repayment, emergency savings, homeownership, education and retirement. USDA's Cooperative State Research, Education and Extension Service (CSREES) is a partner in this activity.

"Through local efforts in 30 States, extension will encourage an estimated 12.2 million adults and youth to catch the savings habit during America Saves Week," said Jane Schuchardt CSREES national program leader for financial security. "Local efforts are coupled with the national launch of the new eXtension Web site, where savers can get unbiased answers to financial questions anytime."

Hamilton County High School in Tennessee will enroll 1,000 students as Tennessee Savers. In Leavenworth County, Kan., 2,000 employees will receive information on building wealth instead of debt. In Florida's 67 counties, 5,000 Americans will learn how to save using the split tax refund at free tax preparation sites.

The eXtension personal finance portal offers resources and tips to help consumers build wealth instead of debt. Consumers can also get unbiased answers to their financial questions 24/7, 365 days a year.

America Saves Week began in 2007 as a new initiative designed to test strategies locally in preparation for building a nationwide America Saves Week in 2008. Through information, advice and encouragement, educators assisted those who wished to pay down debt, build an emergency fund, save for a home, save for an education, or save for retirement. In 2007, Cooperative Extension Services in 22 states reached nearly 80,000 potential savers through workshops, roll-your-change events, piggy bank competitions, payroll stuffers and electronic messages.

America Saves is a nationwide campaign to encourage savings by low- to moderate- income households. For more information, go to www.americasaves.org.

CSREES advances knowledge for agriculture, the environment, human health and well-being, and communities by supporting research, education, and extension programs in the Land-Grant University System and other partner organizations. For more information, visit http://www.csrees.usda.gov.