On July 17, a group of Iowa teachers attended the Iowa Jump$tart Financial Literacy Conference in Ankeny, Iowa. This annual conference highlights financial literacy programs and materials available for educators to use in the classroom in order to teach the subject of financial literacy to Iowa students.
Opening keynote speakers included Kenneth McDonnell of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and Bill Cheeks of the National Jump$tart Coalition. McDonnell shared information on financial literacy resources available from the CFPB, including tools to help consumers with questions about paying for college and understanding mortgages. Cheeks provided an update on resources available from the National Jump$tart Coalition, including opportunities to attend their National Educators Conference Nov. 8-10 in Los Angeles.
Mary Suiter of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis was the keynote speaker during the lunch hour, and discussed the variety of financial literacy resources available from her organization. The St. Louis Fed offers economics and personal finance education resources segmented by educational level, such as elementary school, middle school, high school and college, through their Econlowdown program.
Closing keynote speakers were TS Bank Institute’s Bob Mantell and Kyle Osborne. Leading an interactive session, Mantell and Osborne discussed their blueprint to improve financial literacy for students and shared a variety of free financial literacy resources available for teachers. TS Bank is currently involved with in-school banking and after school programs, as well as offering professional development resources for teachers so they feel prepared and comfortable teaching financial literacy material.
In addition to the keynote speakers, breakout sessions providing additional resources and information were held by representatives from the Iowa Attorney & General’s Office, Wells Fargo, MECCA, Dordt College, Financial Capability Network, Davenport Community School District, and AskMrG Consulting, LLC.
All of the speakers shared a multitude of financial literacy programs and classroom materials ranging from online games for improving financial skills to information for teens starting the journey to financial independence. The conference helped inspire and give new ideas to all levels of educators as they prepare for the new school year.