Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

That's "Edutainment"

Academic journal article ABA Banking Journal

That's "Edutainment"

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Did you notice the formula for compound interest snuck into the latest episode of Desperate Housewives?

It hasn't quite come to that--yet. However, U.S. Treasurer Anna Escobedo Cabral has suggested that TV soap operas be used as a financial education vehicle, and the forerunner, a Spanish-language soap sponsored by Freddie Mac, was successful enough to inspire production to begin this spring on a quasi-financial movie targeting African Americans.

A bank is involved in the production, but the producer, a community group with a media production affiliate, is not yet at liberty to name the institution.

Equally, Chevy Chase Bank in Bethesda, Md., declines to disclose details of its "edutainment" plans for the burgeoning Hispanic community in the greater D.C. area.

The bank does say that it will host a show of sorts, a presentation involving some theatricality-something intrinsically entertaining even without the valuable life-skills education it contains, says Enrique Carrillo, director of Hispanic banking. This will complement the bank's big push towards serving customers in Spanish.

"We're making an investment in this bi-lingual community," says Carrillo. The workshops Chevy Chase will offer will have "a novella or soap-opera-ish flavor," he says. "It's 'out-of-the-box' thinking, especially for a bank our size."

Dilsey Davis, who produced "Nuestro Barrio" with Freddie Mac's help, says, "Many of the viewers have no interest in finance. That's the thing, they become interested. They don't feel they are being talked to; they find themselves in the characters. …

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