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Money Teach Gives Running Start to New Financial Educators launched recently with support from NEFE to help instructors with little or no financial education background access to vetted resources and insight from experienced financial educators. Jointly developed by the Take Charge America Institute and housed at the University of Arizona, Money Teach is an online portal to noncommercial resources from a variety of providers and a forum to discuss what works and what doesn’t.

Teachers can choose curricula by length of instruction time, grade level, content topic, type of class and type of teaching material. Whether teachers need one 45-minute lesson or a 4,000-minute semester course, Money Teach guides them to resources meeting their criteria.

Numerous leaders in the financial capability community have worked to improve teacher effectiveness in recent years, based on insights from NEFE-funded research that found fewer than 20 percent of K-12 teachers feel “very competent” to teach personal finance. Money Teach supports several of the factors necessary for effective financial education by identifying vetted resources, age-appropriate materials to provide timely instruction and relevant subject matter.

See more at: Money Teach Press Release

November 12, 2015 at 2:06 pm

Lights, Camera, Save! Video Contest Encourages Students to Save

LCS15-website banner770x200Sponsored by the American Bankers Association Foundation, Lights, Camera, Save! is a national, bank-driven competition that encourages teens to use video to communicate the value of saving and inspire others to become lifelong savers. The video contest is designed for teens between the ages of 13 and 18, and encourages teens to develop creative, innovative concepts that show the importance of sound money management.

Three national winners of the contest will also receive awards of $1,000, $2,500 or $5,000, and winning videos will be posted on YouTube to become part of a national campaign to make sound money management relevant to teens.

To participate, contact a participating Iowa bank to request an entry form. Click here to view a list of participating banks.

November 6, 2015 at 6:13 pm

Registration Opens for College Scholarship Program

Diverse group of university students in classroom Registration is open for a scholarship that offers Iowa high school seniors a chance to receive $2,000 for college while learning important financial literacy skills. In addition, each recipient’s high school will receive a corresponding $500 award.

High school seniors may register for the Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship online between now and March 4.

Iowa Student Loan® will award $2,000 scholarships to 30 students who complete two online financial literacy tutorials and score highest on a related assessment. Registered students also receive emails highlighting financial literacy tips, such as the importance of early career and college planning and ways to reduce student loan indebtedness.

After registering for the scholarship, students receive emailed instructions for completing the three online components. Two tutorials — the newly revised Student Loan Game PlanSM and the ROCI Reality Check — were developed by Iowa Student Loan to help students understand the consequences of college borrowing and discover how to maximize their return on college investment, or ROCI.

Click here to learn more and to register.

November 6, 2015 at 4:08 pm

New Tool Helps Teachers Review Financial Literacy Curriculum

CFPB_2tone_Horiz_RGBThe Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has released a new tool that educators can use to evaluate financial education curriculum for students. The curriculum review tool will help educators identify effective and unbiased material to increase the financial capability of students. By providing relevant evaluation criteria, the tool can help educators judge the value of financial education material for their students.

“Helping young people develop their financial capability early will prepare them for important financial decisions they will face in the future,” said CFPB Director Richard Cordray. “The curriculum review tool we are releasing today will help educators determine which financial education curriculum best suits their students.”

Research links high school financial education courses with increased savings and wealth accumulation later in life. When attempting to find financial education material for their students, educators are often faced with the challenge of having to choose a suitable curriculum from a wide range of providers with few guidelines on how to select the most appropriate curriculum. This tool is designed to help.

Click here to learn more.

November 2, 2015 at 1:38 pm

Register by Oct. 16 for Financial Literacy Fair for Iowa Educators

classroom-smGet financial literacy tools and resources you can use in your classroom! Sign up now to attend a day-long, financial literacy professional development program at Iowa Western Community College in Atlantic on Oct. 20.

Each session will include classroom content and will offer helpful tools and resources. Resources will include lesson plans, whiteboard applications, videos, and more. All resources meet the Iowa Core Curriculum 21st Century Skills standards.

There is no charge for the program, but registration is required by Friday, Oct. 16. Breakfast and lunch will be provided. Please RSVP to

Presenters include Kevin Shields, Community Affairs Specialist at the FDIC, Dr. Cindy Fletcher, Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Iowa State University, Bob Mantell and Kyle Osborne of TS Institute, and Joanne Kuster, president of DynaMinds Publishing and chairperson of Iowa Money Smart Week.

Event Details:
October 20, 2015 | 8:45 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.

October 16, 2015 at 11:35 am

Spring Edition of Money Smart News Now Available

FDICLogoThe spring edition of Money Smart News, a financial literacy resource provided by the FDIC, features two youth-focused initiatives and resources. The first, Money Smart for Young People, is a new set of educational materials for teachers, parents, and caregivers that can be used to educate children on how to manage their money. The second, Youth Savings Pilot Program, promotes access to financial services for young people by connecting financial education in schools with the opportunity to open bank accounts and begin saving money. “By engaging young people and their parents in discussions about key financial concepts and choices, we hope to enhance their financial capability and improve the likelihood that children and families will participate in the mainstream financial system,” said Mark Pearce, director at the FDIC. “In addition to the benefits of safety and security, the FDIC believes that an account with an insured depository institution can be a stepping stone to economic opportunity.”

Click here to access the financial literacy resources available in the spring edition of Money Smart News.

June 30, 2015 at 11:24 am

Students compete in financial literacy challenge

8126_1The Iowa Center for Economic Education at Dordt College facilitated the New Iowa Finance Challenge for Middle and High School Students that was held during Money Smart Week at the end of April.

The state-wide financial literacy competition was a free online financial literacy program that tested students’ knowledge about income and money management, spending and credit, and savings and investing.

Participating schools included Treynor, Madrid Junior and Senior High School, Tri-Center High School, Essex Junior and Senior High, MOC-FV High School, River Valley, Sioux Center High School, and Creston Middle School.

MOC-FV High School took the overall winning title, qualifying them for nationals. However, the winning teams from MOC-FV were unable to attend nationals due to graduation and state track. The next highest scoring team was from River Valley. Teacher Teena Dreckman attended the national competition in Kansas City with her students: Katie Reinking, Paige Korver, and Emily Hoy.

The challenge was sponsored by the Iowa Jump$tart Coalition and Wells Fargo.


Region one high school division:

  • First place: Maria Cuevas, Aricson Knoblock, and Monica Nicholson of MOC-FV High School
  • Second place: Sarah Schwarz, Kyle Van Der Stoep, and Cara Venema of MOC-FV High School

Region three high school division:

  • First place: Sammy Anderson, Erin Bolte, and Brian Tessmer of Tri-Center High School
  • Second place: Grace Lisle, Hannah Pettit, Jesse Pursell, and Shelbie Weihs of Tri-Center High School

Region one middle school division:

  • First place: Skylar Mesner, Adrian Meza, and Ariaqna Meza of River Valley
  • Second place: Jacob Henderson, Kera Johnson, Hailey Joy, and Ashton Lichtenburg of River Valley

Region three middle school division:

  • First place: Brendan Mass, Amanda Kern, Alora Nowlin, and Brett Phelps of Treynor
  • Second place: Megan Carley, Maria Carolus, Kyle Christensen, and Dane Dunbar of Treynor

May 27, 2015 at 12:21 pm

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