Iowa Teachers Going to Washington D.C.


Six teachers that attended the Iowa Jump$tart Conference on June 14th, 2019 will be going to Washington D.C. to be a part of the biggest Financial Literacy Conference in the nation.  They applied and received the Iowa Jump$start Scholarship Award to enable them to attend the 2019 Jump$tart National Educator Conference on November 1-3.  Congratulations to these Iowa teachers! (picture does not match the order of list below)

  • Dan James from Dallas Center-Grimes Community School District, Dallas Center
  • Teresa Blackburn-Bentz from Glidden-Ralson Community School District, Glidden
  • Matt Graham from Garner-Hayfield-Ventura, Garner
  • Bonnie Pohl from Gilbert Community School District, Gilbert
  • Chealsee Klindt from Meredith Middle School, Des Moines
  • Abby Donald from Mason City High School, Mason City

Matt Pohlman from Mason Northwest was also a recipient, but he will not be attending.


Governor Proclaims April as Financial Literacy Awareness Month

In this month of April, Iowa Jump$tart would like to encourage all Iowans to take a moment to think about how they can improve their financial capabilities.  Maybe make a goal to read a book or take a community class.  If you need guidance, Iowa Jump$tart and its many partners will gladly help you find resources to help you reach your goals.  When you look at it’s core, money is important to our survival and quality of life.  We know how difficult it can be to pay back college loans, to pay taxes, to understand insurance, or to recover from a financial loss like divorce or natural disaster.  We are all in this together.

PDF of Proclamation


Owen Schobert named 2019 Money Smart Kid

2019 MSW Winner and FinalistsOwen Schobert, an eighth grader at Lansing Middle School in Lansing, has won the 13th annual statewide financial literacy essay contest for Money Smart Week Iowa and has been named Iowa’s 2019 Money Smart Kid. Schobert also received $1,000 from the Iowa Bankers Association to put toward his college education.

Forty-one students from across the state participated in the 2019 Money Smart Week Essay Contest. Any Iowa student in grades seven through 11 was eligible to submit a 400-word essay. This year’s prompt asked students to explain what income volatility is and who is prone to experience it. Students were also asked to include tips and resources on how to prepare for sudden fluctuation in income.


Iowa Student Loan Offers Two Programs to Help Pay for College This Fall


Iowa Student Loan is offering two opportunities to help families pay for college this fall.

  • College Savings Plan Parent Giveaway: Now through Oct. 21, parents and guardians of students in grades 6-12 can register to win a $1,000 College Savings Iowa deposit. Fifty winner will be chosen.
  • Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Beginning Oct. 22, high school seniors can register online and complete the designated components of the Iowa Financial Know-How Challenge: Senior Scholarship for a chance to win one of 30 scholarships for $2,000. There are no GPA, merit or financial requirements.

Click here to learn more about both programs.


Oct. 18 is Get Smart About Credit Day

Get Smart About Credit Banner (two columns)

The Get Smart About Credit program – sponsored by the American Bankers Association Engagement Foundation – is a national campaign of volunteer bankers who work with young people to raise awareness about the importance of using credit wisely. Hundreds of banks from across the country – and in Iowa – volunteer to teach the program in their local schools. To learn more about the program, and to find participating banks in your area, click here. And mark your calendar for Oct. 18, 2018, to celebrate Get Smart About Credit Day!


NGPF Jump$tart NEC Scholarship Contest Now Accepting Applications

logo2Are you passionate about building financial capability and find yourself constantly brainstorming and conjuring up ways to bring personal finance education to more students? If so, Next Gen Personal Finance has an amazing professional development opportunity for you!
Next Gen is awarding 20 scholarships for classroom teachers to attend the Jump$tart National Educator Conference in Cleveland, OH from November 3-5, 2018!
Click here to learn more.

LifeSmarts Online Consumer Challenge Now Open

LifeSmartsThe National Consumers League hosts LifeSmarts, an online competition open to all students in grades 6–12. This September, LifeSmarts celebrates 25 years of empowering teens to become smart, savvy consumers. Each month, LifeSmarts focuses on a different category important to teen consumers: personal finance, health and safety, consumer rights, technology, and the environment. Students compete online and in-person throughout the year to win scholarships and prizes. Experts in LifeSmarts subject areas are also needed to serve as judges and officials at the state and national competitions. This year’s competition begins on September 10. Click here to learn more.


Applications Being Accepted for Bridging the Dream Scholarships


From now until September 27, 2018, Sallie Mae® is accepting nominations from counselors, mentors, and community members for the Bridging the Dream Scholarship. This year, Sallie Mae will be awarding a new group of inspiring high school students with $25,000 each.

Do you know a high school junior or senior

  • who works hard and inspires others;
  • has an interesting story to tell; and
  • is gifted or skilled in a way you think is outstanding?

Nominate them today for this scholarship opportunity! Your nominee could be a student that you’ve helped guide along the way, someone who has inspired you, or a student you worry may come up financially short of fulfilling their dreams. Also, share this message with your colleagues and other student-focused community organizations to ensure more students from your area are nominated.

Visit to learn more about previous winners, how these scholarships have impacted their lives, and to nominate a student today.

You can also help even more students find scholarships by telling them to check out Sallie Mae’s free Scholarship Search tool. It matches students with scholarship opportunities based on their unique skills, activities, and interests.


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.


Iowa City West HS makes national finals for economics challenge


Iowa City West High School placed 7th in the 2018 National Economics Challenge, hosted by the Council for Economic Education in May in New York City. The challenge teaches and supports critical success skills for high school students, which help students prepare for future careers. Students reached the national competition by placing first in their state competitions. In the national event, the students were presented with a hypothetical family financial scenario and given two hours to come up with a resolution to the family’s financial situation. In the preliminary round, teams were randomly divided into three groups and presented their findings to judges. The top team in each group then presented to a panel of elite judges in the final round. The 2019 challenge will take place May 18-20, 2019. Click here to learn more.