Financial Literacy Tools, Helpful Information

Investing: 101 webinar scheduled for tomorrow!

We know it’s short notice, but this webinar will be too good to pass up. Join financial educator Karen Chan during tomorrow’s Investing: 101 webinar. Learn about stocks, bonds and mutual funds through the story of the young company Freddie’s Finest Furniture.  Chan will also explain index funds and target date retirement fund and how they can simplify your investing decisions.

For more information on joining the Investing: 101 webinar, see the information below.

January 26th 1:00pm CST- 1:30pm CST

Dial in Access: 1-855-377-2663

Participant Code: 66141401

Financial Literacy Tools, Helpful Information, Scholarships, Uncategorized

Money Smart Kid Essay application now available

Each year, during Money Smart Week, the Iowa Bankers Association sponsors the Money Smart Week essay contest in partnership with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Through the contest, students are asked to answer a financial question and relate it back to their life. This year’s question is:

“Do you think there is a connection between financial health and physical health? Please explain your answer. What can you do to become more financially healthy?”

One student will be named this year’s Money Smart Kid and will receive a $1,000 College Savings account. Participants must reside in the Money Smart Week Iowa or Quad Cities region and must be in grade 7-11. The deadline to submit an essay is Friday, March 24, 2017, and the winner will be notified by April 19.

Download the MSW Essay application at To stay up-to-date on contest information, “like” MSW Iowa on Facebook.

Financial Literacy Tools, News/Accolades

An interesting learning experience leads to the book “Caleb’s Gumball Machine”

Fifth grader Caleb Kitterman from Norwalk, Iowa, has been learning about finances from a young age- and in a very interesting way. Rather than having a weekly allowance, Kitterman earns his own money from a gumball machine he purchased with a $40 loan.

“I just knew that I wanted him to learn about money in a different way,” said Kitterman’s dad, Daron in a report with WHOtv.

Kitterman has not only used the money earned from the gumball machine to pay off the loan, but also to save. He has gained both a profit and financial knowledge that will help him in the future.

From this experience Kitterman has learned a great deal and hopes to share his knowledge with others his age. With the help of his dad, he wrote and illustrated the book “Caleb’s Gumball Machine,” which will be published this December.

Once the book is published, the Kitterman’s hope to distribute copies to elementary school libraries across Iowa.

Click here to read more about “Caleb’s Gumball Machine.”

Financial Literacy Tools

Help your students Get Smart About Credit

The 2016 Get Smart About Credit Day, sponsored by the American Bankers Association (ABA) Community Engagement Foundation, will be held on Thursday, Oct. 20. The Get Smart About Credit program is a national campaign run by volunteer bankers. The campaign focuses on raising awareness about the importance of using credit wisely – especially for young people.

Many resources are available to registered banks through the Get Smart About Credit campaign. These free webinars, presentations and communication materials can be used to help educate high school students and young adults.

To learn more about the Get Smart About Credit campaign, click here or contact your local bank to see if they are registered.

Financial Literacy Tools, Helpful Information, Iowa Jump$tart Information

Learn About Free Classroom Tools for Teaching About Money

money smart news


Two upcoming informational sessions can help you learn how Money Smart for Young People is an easy way to teach about money!

On Wednesday, August 3 and Thursday, August 4, 2016, at 3:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. ET, join the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) and the Jump$tart Coalition for two webinars that introduce free tools for teaching key lessons about money to children from Pre-K to Grade 12. The webinars will discuss the Money Smart for Young People curriculum series and offer ideas on how to use it. Each session also will feature insights from those who have used Money Smart and an opportunity to interact with speakers.

The same information will be presented on both days so you can pick the time that works best for you.

Financial Literacy Tools, Helpful Information, Iowa Jump$tart Information, Scholarships

16th Annual Iowa Jump$tart Educators Conference Provides Wealth of Resources for Iowa Teachers

Iowa Jump$tart President Mary Sandvig welcomes attendees to the Educators Conference.
Iowa Jump$tart President Mary Sandvig welcomes attendees to the Educators Conference.

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.

Morgan Fannon reads her winning 2016 Money Smart Kid essay.
Morgan Fannon reads her winning 2016 Money Smart Kid essay.

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.

Carla Madson provides a report on the 2015 National Educators Conference.
Carla Madson provides a report on the 2015 National Educators Conference.
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)

Mitch Matthews
Mitch Matthews
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.

Breakout Sessions
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).

Todd Hospodarsky
Todd Hospodarsky
Sarah O’Rourke
Sarah O’Rourke
Mike Finley
Mike Finley
Marc Hendel
Marc Hendel
Kyle Osborne
Kyle Osborne
Jim Garnett
Jim Garnett
Jenna Nation
Jenna Nation

Billy Hensely
Billy Hensely
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.






LunchKeynote-BillyHensley5Closing 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

NationalConferenceScholarshipWinners2016 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).

Craig Goettsch receives Jump$tart membership award
Craig Goettsch receives Jump$tart membership award
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.

Financial Literacy Tools, Helpful Information

FDIC offers free financial education tools for National Financial Capability Month

FDIC-Color-LogoThe Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) marked National Financial Capability Month this April by highlighting educational opportunities for both adults and young people to build their financial knowledge and skills to achieve brighter financial futures.

The FDIC’s Money Smart program includes a comprehensive financial education curriculum designed to help low- and moderate-income individuals outside the financial mainstream enhance their financial skills. The curriculum is free, available online, and includes a variety of targeted materials for children, adults, older adults, and small business owners.

The Money Smart program has reached more than 3 million consumers since 2001. Research shows that the curriculum can positively influence how consumers manage their finances, and these changes are sustainable in the months after the training.

“The Money Smart program was launched 15 years ago to help people gain a better understanding of day-to-day expenses, save for important goals, and manage their credit,” FDIC Chairman Martin J. Gruenberg said. “Money Smart offers a wide variety of valuable tools to help consumers enhance their understanding of how to better manage their money and build for the future.”

This month, two webinars will overview FDIC educational resources:

  • FDIC Resources Available in Spanish (conducted in Spanish), Tuesday, April 12, 2016 from 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm. To register, visit Money Smart (Spanish) or Conferences & Events (English)
  • Money Smart Product Family and Implementation Examples (conducted in English), Wednesday, April 20, 2016 from 1:00 pm – 3:30 pm. To register, visit Money Smart (English)

To learn more about FDIC’s free financial education resources, start at

Financial Literacy Tools, Helpful Information

Iowa Finance Challenge available for middle and high school students

iowa_regions_mapThe Iowa Finance Challenge is a FREE 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.

How the Competition Works:

Online Competition from March 28 through April 13

Teams of 3-4 (all members will test individually)

Teams compete from one of four regions in Iowa for regional awards; one overall highest scoring team will be recognized as the state champion

Click here to learn more.

Contests, Financial Literacy Tools, Helpful Information, Uncategorized

Help families save for college and win $529 for your school

529logoIf you are an elementary teacher or principal, you play a vital role in helping  young children grow – and now you can help their families grow their college savings. This spring, the State Treasurer’s Office is offering  a new 529 college savings tutorial, College Savings Iowa InFocus. This short, interactive learning experience allows parents, grandparents and others to explore the numerous benefits of using a 529 plan to start saving for a loved one’s future.

Each person who completes the 10-minute tutorial will be registered to win a $1,000 College Savings Iowa account for a loved one. For helping spread the word, two participating elementary schools across Iowa will be selected to win $529 for their school. In order to enter the school giveaway, simply request that your families include your school name and city upon their registration for the tutorial.*

This opportunity will be open to elementary schools across the state starting on April 1, during Financial Literacy Month, and wrapping on May 31, in celebration of 529 Day.

For more information about the program and to request materials, please sign up at no later than Tuesday, March 15. Please email Amanda Shetler ( with any questions.**

For more information about College Savings Iowa, visit

*At least five parents/guardians of a school must properly register for and complete the tutorial in order for that school to be considered eligible for the random drawing.

**School information will not be shared with third party organizations.

For more information about the College Savings Iowa 529 Plan, call 888-672-9116 or visit to obtain a Program Description. Investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses, and other important information are included in the Program Description; read and consider it carefully before investing.

Financial Literacy Tools

Department of Revenue releases 2015 Iowa Income Tax Practice Packet for Students

Taxes 1The Iowa Department of Revenue is pleased to work with Jump$tart Iowa to promote financial literacy education.  That education should include basic knowledge about how to complete a tax return.  To assist with the development of that knowledge, the Department has created a student packet with examples, exercises, and instructions for teachers to expose students to the basics of completing an Iowa 1040 Individual Income tax return.  The Department encourages the usage of this packet and welcomes any questions you may have about the information presented.  Please contact

Download: 2015 Student Iowa Income Tax Practice Packet

Please take time to fill in the Tax Packet Evaluation to help us know where we can improve on this tool.