Iowa Jump$tart Conference provides resources, inspiration for teachers


Iowa teachers attended the Iowa Jump$tart annual Personal Financial Literacy Conference June 28-29 in Ankeny, where they had the chance to participate in inspirational and engaging sessions on teaching personal finance, and gain a wealth of ideas and resources to take back to their schools. The first day of the conference, sponsored by the Iowa Insurance Division, included a variety of keynote and breakout sessions. The second day, sponsored by Next Gen Personal Finance, provided teachers with a chance to earn continuing credit by participating in a FinCamp session. Plus, five Iowa teachers were awarded scholarships to attend the Jump$tart National Educator Conference Nov. 3-5 in Cleveland, Ohio.

Below are a few of the highlights from the conference.

MSWEssayWinnerMoney Smart Week Essay Contest

The conference began with an introduction to the Money Smart Week essay contest. Attendees heard the 2018 winning essay read by winner Hope Dohlman, an 11th grader from Crestwood High School. The contest, designed for students in grades 7-11, takes place each March, with winners announced during Money Smart Week each April. The top ten finalists receive financial awards ranging from $300-$500 sponsored by the Iowa Bankers Association, with the first-place winner receiving a $1,000 prize.  Click here to learn more about the essay contest.

Keynote Speakers CliffordKeynote3

Jacob Clifford led an engaging opening keynote session on getting students excited and engaged in learning about personal finance. An economics teacher from California, Clifford is also the creator of the popular YouTube channel ACDC Leadership, which features a variety of fun and engaging lessons on economics. He offered five strategies for engaging students, including 1) Focus on selling, 2) Convey your excitement, 3) Make lessons applicable, 4) Invite students to practice concepts, and 5) Give immediate feedback. Click here to visit Clifford’s YouTube channel.

DeckerKeynote2Ryan Decker gave the lunch keynote session on how to broach the subject of money when talking with students and how to help students improve decision making when it comes to personal finance by utilizing behavioral economics concepts. Decker is an assistant professor of economics and finance with the Center for Economic Education and Financial Literacy at North Central College in Illinois.


Breakout SessionsUnruhBreakout

Concurrent breakout sessions ran in the morning and afternoon, and included the topics of teaching soft skills; integrating STEM, math and financial literacy; using technology resources from the FDIC; student loan options; EVERFI financial literacy program; teaching demand and supply concepts; personal finance for teachers; helping first in family students with college planning; and helping students evaluate the pros and cons of immediately joining the workforce or going to college first.

National Conference Scholarship Winners

The conference concluded with the announcement of the five winners of scholarships to attend the Jump$tart National Educator Conference. Winners were: Kyle Leonard, Lamoni High School; Kathy Degner, Muscatine High School; Kelly Parriott, Dowling Catholic, West Des Moines; Annette Knott, Missouri Valley High School; and Del Buchman, ADM, Adel.

Click here to view photos from the conference.