Approximately 90 Iowa teachers and business professionals attended Iowa Jump$tart’s annual Conference for Financial Literacy June 22 at DMACC’s FFA Enrichment Center in Ankeny. The conference, titled “Financial Literacy Starts with You,” provided teachers with a wealth of resources and tools to take back to the classroom for their financial literacy educational programs.
Iowa Jump$tart President Mary Sandvig (Iowa Division of Banking) welcomed conference attendees, noting that this year marked the 16th anniversary of the conference. She reflected on what financial responsibility was like at the age of 16, and how everyone has a responsibility to take care of their financial literacy. “Thank you for coming to day to take information bank to your classrooms to make a difference,” said Sandvig.
Money Smart Week Essay Contest Winner
Sandvig also provided an updated on Money Smart Week, a financial literacy effort sponsored by Iowa Jump$tart that takes place each April. This year, Sandvig reported, Money Smart Week events across the state reached over 20,000 people. One of those events is the annual Money Smart Week essay contest, sponsored by the Iowa Bankers Association. She also introduced the 2016 Money Smart Kid Essay contest winner, Morgan Fannon of Edgewood-Colesburg Senior High School, and her teacher Jodi Ehlers.
Ehlers encouraged attendees to work with local bankers to identify free financial literacy resources. “If you don’t have a relationship with your local banker, make one. You won’t believe how much easier your life becomes when you have them on your team,” said Ehlers. Then Fannon read her winning essay with the group.
2015 National Conference Report
Teachers receiving last year’s Iowa Jump$tart scholarships to the National Educators Conference provided a report on the conference. Those teachers reporting included Carla Madson (Urbandale), Jen Snyder (Colfax Mingo), and April Moffitt (Emmetsburg)
Opening Keynote: Is Your Hair on Fire?
Mitch Matthews provided an engaging opening keynote about tacking stress and worry. “Money dominates the top 10 list of what people worry about. To help people manage their money better, we have to address worry,” said Matthews. He then provided tips for training your brain and redirecting your thinking to those things you can control and influence – and letting go of those things you cannot.
Nine different breakouts sessions were offered throughout the day on a variety of topics, including: NEFE’s High School Financial Program Planning (Billy Hensley), Life Skills: Finances – Making it Fresh and Fun (Sarah O’Rourke), Three Things Your Kids Must Know to Be a Financial Success (Jim Garnett), Iowa Council for Economic Education (Kyle Osborne), How to Become a Wise and Efficient Investor (Mike Finley), Gamification of Personal Finance (Jenna Nation), Financial Literacy for Underrepresented, First Generation Students (Allison Severson, Kay Thomas, and Kristen Corey), Family Budget Simulation (Todd Hospodarsky) and Keeping It Real: Borrowing Responsibly for College (Marc Hendel).
Lunch Keynote: Applicable Research on Financial Education
Billy Hensley of the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) provided an update on using research to help understand and address personal finance issues. He shared research had conducted on Millennials, including trends in their financial habits and issues of concern.
Educators also had the opportunity to visit with more than a dozen exhibitors to learn about additional financial literacy resources available.
Closing Keynote: Finding Free, High Quality Personal Finance Resources
Tim Ranzetta from Next Gen Personal Financial provided an informative closing address on the numerous financial literacy resources available through his organization. Attendees were given a virtual tour of those resources, including lesson plans, activities, projects, case studies, assessments and more, available on their website at nextgenpersonalfinance.org.
2016 National Conference Scholarship Winners
Sandvig announced the winners of Iowa Jump$tart scholarships to the 2016 National Educators Conference Nov. 5-7 in Dallas, Texas. Winners were: Debbie Claussen (Pleasant Valley High School, Bettendorf), Jennifer Anderson (Treynor High School, Treynor), Kristy Nickolisen (Abraham Lincoln High School, Council Bluffs), Tia Shaffer (Independence Community School District, Arlington), and JoEtt Cogdill (Woodbine High School, Woodbine).
Iowa Jump$tart Member Award
Craig Goettsch of the Iowa Insurance Division was presented with Iowa Jump$tart’s second annual member award for his service with the coalition. or. Craig has served as Iowa JumpStart secretary for more than 10 years, and continues to lead JumpStart’s membership committee.
Craig has been actively involved in nearly every JumpStart initiative, including funding programs, speaking, serving on committees, being an officer, drafting policies and by-laws, and providing counsel. He has been a leader and advocate for all of JumpStart’s annual conferences for teachers and for the annual Money Smart Week Iowa.