Iowa eighth grader Katherine Currier named 2015 Money Smart Kid

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2015 Money Smart Kid Essay Contest Winner Katherine Currier receives a $1,000 award presented by members of the Money Smart Kid Essay contest planning committee. Pictured left to right are Traci Stiles (Des Moines Metro Credit Union), Lori Ristau (Iowa Bankers Association), Katherine Currier (Goodrell Middle School), Matt Brown (Iowa Student Loan) and Kellie Masters (Wealth Advisors of Iowa)

Katherine Currier, an eighth grader at Goodrell Middle School, has won the statewide financial literacy essay contest for Money Smart Week Iowa and has been named Iowa’s 2015 Money Smart Kid. Currier was recognized April 24 at Goodrell Middle School. Currier will also receive a $1,000 Certificate of Deposit sponsored by the Iowa Bankers Association.

“Financial education is an important subject for students to learn early, and it is exciting to see these students’ learning more about real-world applications and solutions to help with saving,” said Lori Ristau, vice president of marketing and communications at the Iowa Bankers Association. “Iowa banks are committed to helping Iowans reach their financial goals, and providing access to financial education resources through programs like Money Smart Week is just one of the many ways banks can help. That is why we are happy to sponsor this fun and educational opportunity for Iowa students on behalf of our member banks.”

Approximately 229 students from across the state participated in the essay contest. To be eligible, students had to be in grades seventh through eleventh and submit a 300-word essay. The essay asked students to describe the biggest obstacle to saving money and what technological and/or banking solutions might help them (and their friends) begin to save. The top six essay finalists also participated in an interview with contest judges. From those finalists, Katherine Currier was selected to be the 2015 Money Smart Kid.

“For the second straight year, we have had over 200 essays from bright students across Iowa,” said Matt Brown, chair for the Money Smart Youth Outreach Committee. “This year’s question placed a fundamental financial concept–saving–in front of middle and high school students, and we got a glimpse of the future by reading their creative ideas for technological and/or banking solutions. I could not be more pleased or hopeful for Iowa’s future.”

Currier wrote in her award-winning essay, “Many people start saving money, but soon quit because the urge to spend gets the better of them. The sooner kids are encouraged to save, the sooner they develop good habits for balancing wants and needs.”

Currier is the daughter of Larry and Vona Currier. As Iowa’s 2015 Money Smart Kid, Currier will serve as a spokesperson promoting financial education during Money Smart Week, April 18-25, in communities across the state. In addition to Currier, the five essay finalists were: Samantha Dilocker (Red Oak), Laura Stowater (Algona), Rachel Kerger (Ankeny), Andrew Wise (Johnston) and Christian Elliott (Bettendorf).

More information about Money Smart Week is available at www.moneysmartweek.org.

April 24, 2015 at 12:13 pm

Ten Iowa Schools Receive $1,000 Award for Project Financial Literacy Participation Sponsored by the Iowa Bankers Association

project_fl-logoTen Iowa schools have been selected to receive a $1,000 award from the Iowa Bankers Association and its member banks and for participating in Project Financial Literacy. Project Financial Literacy is a program designed to promote financial literacy education by providing high schools with resources to measure and improve their financial literacy curriculum.

The awards and winning schools included:

  • Highest Scoring School Award: ADM Senior High School, Adel (Sponsored by Raccoon Valley Bank)
  • Most Improved School Award: Postville High School, Postville
  • Highest Number of Participating Students Award: Southeast Polk High School, Pleasant Hill
  • Highest Percentage of Participating Students Award: Marquette Catholic School, Bellevue (Sponsored by Bellevue State Bank)
  • Northwest Regional Participation Award: Spirit Lake Highs School, Spirit Lake
  • Northeast Regional Participation Award: Jesup High School, Jesup
  • Central Regional Participation Award: Ballard Community Senior High School, Huxley
  • East Regional Participation Award: Regina Jr Sr High School, Iowa City (Sponsored by MidWestOne Bank)
  • Southwest Regional Participation Award: Tri-Center High School, Neola
  • Southeast Regional Participation Award: Pella High School

All Iowa schools who participated in this program by Feb. 13 were eligible for one of 10 awards. Nearly 50 Iowa schools participated in the program this year, reaching more than 1,800 students.

“Financial literacy education is so critical to these students’ future success, and to the economic success of our communities. All of the participating schools are to be commended for their work in promoting financial education with their participation in this program,” said Lori Ristau, vice president of marketing and communications for the Iowa Bankers Association. “This program also aligns perfectly with the core values of Iowa banks. Iowa banks are not only a resource for financial products and services, but also a resource for financial expertise and advice. Financial literacy is at the heart of what Iowa banks do.”

The winning schools can use the $1,000 award can be used to invest in their financial literacy programs or for providing scholarships to students.

Schools interested in participating in Project Financial Literacy next year can visit www.projectfl.org to learn more.

April 17, 2015 at 12:16 pm

Save the Date for Annual Personal Financial Literacy Conference

save the date blue 3d realistic square isolated buttonThe Iowa Jump$tart Coalition is pleased announce it will once again offer its annual Personal Financial Literacy Conference. The conference provides a wealth of resources and information to help Iowa educators help their students with key financial literacy concepts.

Mark your calendars now to attend the conference Thursday, July 16. The conference will be at DMACC’s FFA Enrichment Center, located at 1055 SW Prairie Trail Parkway in Ankeny. We anticipate having a conference registration form available early to mid-May.

Interested in being a presenter?
We are also looking for conference presenters. If you are interested, we invite you to submit a proposal to present at the conference. The proposal deadline is May 22, 2015. Click here to access the proposal request form.

Want to exhibit at the conference:
If your organization is interested in exhibiting at the conference, please click here to fill out the exhibitor request form.

April 15, 2015 at 1:34 pm

Jump$tart Member Spotlight: Iowa Attorney General’s Office

AttorneyGeneralWe would like to recognize the Iowa Attorney General’s Office as our current Member Spotlight. The Iowa AG is an advocate and resource for Iowans, providing consumer protection and information. Their website states that “The Consumer Protection Division protects Iowa consumers from fraud, ensures fair competition in the workplace, and informs the public about consumer frauds and how to avoid becoming a consumer fraud victim.” They frequently post information and alerts on their website to help Iowans protect their financial assets by preventing fraud. They also have a partnership with the Iowa Department of Human Services to provide a website called Be There that offers helpful information and links for strengthening families through good parenting. This website includes a money management section as well.

This long time member of the Iowa Jump$tart coalition is represented by Debra Moore. She has been an integral part of the coalition and has participated as president of the coalition and countless volunteer positions in committees such as teacher conference, marketing, and Money Smart Week.

You may find more about this member at: https://www.iowaattorneygeneral.gov/

April 7, 2015 at 1:07 pm

Governor Declares April Financial Literacy Month

MSWProclamationSigngingIowa Governor Terry Branstad has recently signed two proclamations to support financial literacy.

First, on March 9, he signed a proclamation declaring April 18-25 Money Smart Week. Members of the Jump$tart Coalition attended the proclamation signing (pictured above).

Then, on April 1, he also signed another proclamation declaring the month of April Financial Literacy month. In the proclamation, he states, “the state of Iowa believes knowledge of personal finance is essential for the success of citizens and state.”

Click here to learn more about how you can participate in financial literacy activities during Money Smart Week and Financial Literacy Month.

April 6, 2015 at 10:40 am

Iowa Financial Literacy Summit

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The Iowa Financial Literacy Summit aims to educate students, educators, and the general public about the importance of financial literacy. The Summit includes breakout sessions for secondary students, educators, and the general public.

Details about the summit are as follows:

Dates: May 5, 2015
Times: 9:00 AM – 4:00 PM
Location: Iowa Events Center: HyVee Hall
Address: 730 Third Street, Des Moines
REGISTRATION DEADLINE: April 21, 2015
Registration covers meals and snacks throughout the day. Parking at the Iowa Events Center is $7.00 per car.

For more info click here.

March 16, 2015 at 3:27 pm

Team up to win the Finance Challenge!

The Iowa Finance Challenge is a new online financial literacy program available for middle and high school students. This online competition includes 30 questions for students to test their knowledge on income and money management, spending and credit, and savings and investing. Students compete in teams of three or four in the challenge, and test individually to measure the knowledge they have gained.

In addition to providing students with a fun and engaging way to build their financial literacy knowledge, the challenge offers students the chance to win cash prizes. Prizes will be awarded in April during Money Smart Week to the first, second and third place winning teams. The first place team will receive $25 per team member, the second place team will receive $15 per team member, and the third place team will receive $10 per team member. Every team that participates also is registered for a drawing for a $100 gift card.

Teachers interested in having students participate in the challenge can contact Erica Vonk of the Iowa Center for Economic Education at Dordt College at 712-722-6341 or Erica.Vonk@Dordt.edu. The challenge is being facilitated and managed by the Iowa Center for Economic Education at Dordt College, and made possible through a joint sponsorship by the Iowa Jump$tart Coalition and Wells Fargo.

Visit their website at http://financechallenge.unl.edu and click on Iowa.

March 16, 2015 at 2:35 pm

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