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Financial literacy is important, but how do you get kids engaged?

We can all agree that financial literacy is important, but it’s hard to teach kids about the importance of saving, budgeting and investing before they make money of their own. So how on earth do we grab the attention of uninterested kids? Make money talk fun!

Sometimes classroom lesson plans are hard to stand, but if activities are involved, the kids will be, too. For fun classroom ideas that will spark the interest of kids, visit The Money Godmother’s Blog. From crossword puzzles to duct tape wallets, many free downloads are available.

Another great resource the Federal Reserve of Chicago offers is the downloadable workbook, Econ Explorers. This workbook takes students on many different adventures while exploring different aspects of financial literacy.

Check out some of these resources to engage your students and make money talk fun.

November 29, 2016 at 11:02 am

Five Iowa teachers attend National Educator Conference

Five Iowa teachers had the opportunity to attend the 2016 Jump$tart Coalition National Educator Conference held in Dallas, Texas, November 5-7.  The annual conference provides PreK-12 educators with financial education resource, personal and professional development, access to a nation-wide network of colleagues, and general support for financial education.

The National Educator Conference is attended by more than 300 teachers, representing nearly every state. This year five deserving Iowa teachers were among the conference attendees thanks to the scholarships awarded at the 16th Annual Iowa Jump$tart Educators Conference. Iowa’s scholarship winners included:

Iowa attendees enjoy lunch during the 2016 National Educators Conference held in Dallas, Texas, November 5-7.  Attendees include (individuals sitting left to right) Kristy Nickolisen, JoEtt Cogdill, Jennifer Anderson, Tia Shaffer and Dibbie Clausen.

Iowa attendees enjoy lunch during the 2016 National Educators Conference held in Dallas, Texas, November 5-7. Attendees include (individuals sitting left to right) Kristy Nickolisen, JoEtt Cogdill, Jennifer Anderson, Tia Shaffer and Dibbie Clausen.

  • Jennifer Anderson (Treynor High School, Treynor)
  • Debbie Claussen (Pleasant Valley High School, Bettendorf)
  • JoEtt Cogdill (Woodbine High School, Woodbine)
  • Kristy Nickolisen (Abraham Lincoln High School, Council Bluffs)
  • Tia Shaffer (Independence Community School District, Arlington)

To learn more about the National Educator Conference click here.

November 15, 2016 at 5:59 pm

REGISTER NOW for the “Youth Employment Programs as Pathways to Savings” webcast

Learn how youth employment can play a critical role in the financial success of many young individuals by joining America Saves for Young Workers’ (ASYW) webcast, “Youth Employment Programs as Pathways to Savings.” The webcast is scheduled for tomorrow, Wednesday, November 2 from 1-3 p.m.

This webcast will help you understand how youth learn to save when provided appropriate products, services and mechanisms. The presentation will include panel discussions on innovative programs, financial institutions providing unique products and services, and research findings on past ASYW program participants.

For more information on how to register, click here.

November 1, 2016 at 12:02 pm

Don’t break the bank this Halloween

According to a recent poll from the National Retail Federation, people will spend $8.4 billion on Halloween this year. If you do the math, that is an average of $82.93 per shopper. It is also said that most of this money will be spent on costumes.

That’s a lot of money for an outfit you will most likely never wear again, so why waste it? There are ways to still look great this Halloween without breaking the bank. In fact, America Saves has come up with a list of their 15 favorite homemade costume ideas. The best news yet, all these costumes can be made on any budget.

Check out these great costume ideas and save your money for another time. Halloween is fun when you look great, but it’s even better when you save money too!

October 27, 2016 at 9:42 am

Substitute cash for candy this Halloween

The countdown has begun; less than a week until Halloween! But, before you rush out and buy the expensive candy to hand out, the National Financial Educators Council (NFEC) encourages you to substitute cash for candy.

Sounds a bit crazy, right? Well, maybe not. Kids get excited about candy, but they get more pumped up for cash.

By substituting cash for candy, you have the opportunity to teach kids about personal finance and encourage a healthy lifestyle. Health and financial wellness, although seemingly very different, are directly related. On average, healthier people earn more money, pay less in medical expenses and live longer.

Visit the NFEC’s website for more information and ideas on promoting financial literacy and the wellness of kids this Halloween.

October 25, 2016 at 10:14 am

Member Spotlight: Wells Fargo

wfOur spotlight light Jump$tart member for July is Wells Fargo, represented by a very active member Erin Gjerde,  Wells Fargo is The Des Moines Metro’s largest private employer with over 14,000 people working on their several Des Moines Area campuses.  Wells Fargo is the third largest Financial institution in the US. Wells Fargo’s headquarters are located in San Francisco.

It is totally appropriate to greet Erin Gjerde with “Aloha!”  She and her husband own a farm in Hawaii.  Erin places high value on education, she was born and raised in Amery, Wisconsin by 2 teachers.  Her mother taught 8th grade English and her father taught high school art.  She has two brothers, one of which is also a teacher.

Erin attended Concordia College in Moorhead, MN and graduated in 1988.  From there she began working in higher education at the University of St. Thomas Financial Aid office.  In 1996, Norwest Bank needed a student loan manager for Iowa and Missouri, so she moved down to Des Moines to begin her career with Norwest, now Wells Fargo.  Next month she will celebrate 20 years with the company.

Erin is married and has a grown stepson and stepdaughter.  Her husband is a retired marine and has owned Bailey Roofing Contractors for 27 years.  Her step son lives here in Des Moines and her stepdaughter lives in Oregon and is married with a daughter Claire and a son Reece. She is looking forward to taking them (they are 8 and 10) to the Iowa State Fair when they visit in August.

Erin and her husband live outside of Norwalk on 25 acres and have a rescue dog named Crystal.  

As mentioned, In 2011, they purchased a 6 acre coffee and avocado farm in Kona, Hawaii.  Her husband was stationed in Hawaii when he was in the marines and lived there after he got out for many years.  Their farm is at about 1000 feet and a 5 minute drive from the shore.  They have also added other fruits and crops to our farm such as papaya, mangos, white pineapples, tangelos, Tahitian limes, apple bananas and macadamia nuts.  As you can imagine they absolutely love going there!  

In her spare time she likes to garden, read, sing, golf, run and arrange flowers.  She has run 5 half marathons, one was with my stepdaughter at the Princess Disney World half marathon – they wore Tutu’s and tiaras! She also had the honor to sing with a choir and orchestra at the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 at the Lincoln Center in New York City she loves to travel and has visited 44 states.

August 5, 2016 at 10:25 am

Callanan Middle School Wins Money Smart Geo Cache Contest

JumpStart WinnerThe winners of this year’s Geo Cache Money Smart Week event were Gloria Brott and her student Kole Rover from Callanan Middle School in Des Moines. The event focused on helping students gain knowledge about being safe while shopping online. Gloria will receive $100 and Kole $25 from Jump$tart. Gloria is an family and consumer sciences teacher at Callanan. Forty-seven teachers enrolled and 180 students participated in the contest, which was held during Money Smart Week on April 23-30. Iowa AAFCS sponsored this project last Fall and again this Spring.

May 27, 2016 at 12:21 pm

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