Minnesota Jump$tart Hosts Financial Literacy Bootcamp for Teachers

 

Minnesota Jump$tart partnered with NextGen Personal Finance to host a Financial Bootcamp for over 50 teachers from across the state of Minnesota.

NextGen Personal Finance is a non-profit organization that was formed to connect educators with free resources, professional development and advocacy tools in order to equip students with the knowledge and skills to lead financially successful and fulfilling lives.  NGPF offers a free high-school personal finance curriculum and professional development partner helping teachers deliver essential money understanding in an easy-to-grasp, engaging way.

The event started off with a welcome address from a representative from the Minnesota Department of Education, comments from Bill Cheeks, President of Jump$tart and a message from Minnesota Jump$tart president, Karyn Thompson.

After introductions, the teachers participated in workshops focused on budgeting with roommates, an introduction to credit scores, teaching through interactives and investments.  Throughout the day, the teachers in attendance were continuously providing each other with feedback and sharing resources with one another.  It was truly inspirational to see the level of engagement the teachers had and their commitment to improving the financial literacy Minnesota’s students!

We are extremely grateful to the Minnesota Department of Education for hosting the event and to our partners Everfi, University of Minnesota Extension, Junior Achievement, TopLine Federal Credit Union and BestPrep, who were on-site to provide the teacher attendees with a wealth of information and resources to use in the classroom.

Minnesota Jump$tart Scholarship Recipient Attends Annual Jump$tart Conference

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Minnesota Jump$tart was proud to be able to offer a scholarship to Rosemount’s Kyle Paulson to attend the Annual Jump$tart Conference.  Kyle was kind enough to share with us his thoughts after attending the conference.

The National Jump$tart Coalition puts on an amazing conference.  So much information is packed into such a short period of time.  While at the conference I attended four different sessions.  The first began before the conference and was an investing workshop for educators.  The speaker really focused on differentiating loanership (bonds) and ownership (stock).  I have never focused on bonds in my investments class due to the small knowledge I know with them; however, this course really opened my eyes to their importance and the need to teach about them.  The speaker also taught a little about the importance of wills, power of attorney, and medical directives.

The second session I attended was the H&R Block Budget Challenge.  This year I began utilizing the program, but have failed at properly implementing the program.  Taking this session I found that I implemented the program incorrectly, into the wrong course, and answered several questions I had.  This program is best to supplement my budgeting unit, I need to take more time out of my current curriculum to explain check registry, check payments, and how to budget credit card payments.

The next session was credit reporting resources for the classroom.  I currently spend a day or two on credit reports and this is exactly what the instructor stated should be taken.  A huge focus of this unit in the classroom should be spent on what is in the report, and not the credit score number.  The reason for this is that each credit reporting agency uses a different formula, but all utilize the same information within the report.  Students should also look to see that all three reporting agencies should have the same information, if not this should be reported.  The final piece of this session was focused on how the information within the report can effect jobs, and credit worthiness when it comes to loans and leases.

The final session I took was Insurance 101 for Teen Drivers.  I briefly talk about car insurance in my course and relied upon students to learn about this insurance in their driver’s education course.  As a driving instructor for the district I realize the importance of this unit, but didn’t know how to implement it into my course.  Upon taking this course I received great curriculum and how to address it with students.  The main focus of this session was on how bad driving effects insurance rates as a whole, the different types of auto insurance, and how to reduce the cost of vehicle insurance.

The conference offers a lot of information for you to take in; however, sometimes there is too much information and not enough time.  The first suggestion I would give to future participants is to network, network, and do more networking.  The best way to do this is at the social events in the evening.  Networking will help you in a few ways.  The first is you can’t attend every session, and often times there will be 2 or 3 that you will want to attend.  Finding others who attended those sessions will allow you to get the materials from the session, and a brief synopsis of the session.  The individuals you network with add to your curriculum ideas and often time materials.

The next thing to keep in mind is that courses fill up quickly, so you may have to register for a course that is not interesting to you; however, attendance at sessions are not taken so if you change your mind last minute go to the course that will benefit you them most.  This also means that if you begin a session and it is not what you expected, find a different session to attend.  When looking at the courses, also look at your current curriculum.  If you are utilizing some of the materials, software, or other programs offered during a session and have questions about how to better utilize what you are currently using.  I attended H&R Block Budget Challenge which I began utilizing a few months ago and hadn’t had much success doing so.  After attending I had a lot of questions answered, figured out I was utilizing it in the wrong course, and how better to incorporate the program into my curriculum.

The final piece of advice I have is to attend the Exhibit Hall, but to wait till half way through to go.  It is a mad scramble of educators and you don’t get the one-on-one time with the vendors until about an hour into it.  This is an opportunity to find new curriculum, meet with vendors, and also network with current educators utilizing some of the programs.

Minnesota Jump$tart could not be more excited for Kyle. The conference was a great experience and provided Kyle with a number of resources to use in the classroom and allowed him to expand his network.  We look forward to providing additional scholarships in future years to help teachers attend this event.

If you would like to  learn more about Minnesota Jump$tart and its efforts to help promote financial education, you can contact us at  minnesota.jumpstart@gmail.com.