This month, MN Jump$tart Board member, Stephanie Musgrove, and her colleague at Affinity Plus, Kate Austad, taught a financial literacy session alongside Congressman Tom Emmer (MN-06) for a Current Event class at Rocori High School in Cold Spring, MN. Musgrove and Austad facilitated a discussion on banking options and how students can protect themselves from unethical banking practices; the importance of saving early and saving often; and how to make smart and informed decisions about taking on student loans.
Congressman Emmer shared some of his own personal stories to help the students better understand the importance of learning about managing their money, including some of the decisions his children made and how he and his wife tried to prepare their children for responsible money management.
Congressman Emmer is a strong supporter of financial education and he encouraged financial literacy and the importance of saving for the future with these students. “I appreciated the opportunity to work with industry experts, like the impressive individuals from Affinity Plus, to encourage Rocori High School students to look toward their future. Whether you are saving for your education, a house, retirement, or even just a vacation, planning and preparation is crucial to not only individual success, but also for the future of this nation. I applaud these efforts within our communities to educate our leaders of tomorrow about fiscal responsibility and am hopeful for the future of these bright students.”
Financial education is a collaborative effort between schools, local businesses and community organizations, and legislators, and this joint effort at Rocori High School is an example of that. To learn more about how to bring financial education to your school, contact one of the Jump$tart Board members.
Today, MN Jump$tart participated in a session of Junior Achievement’s Personal Finance in a Day at Patrick Henry High School in Minneapolis. We were welcomed into Mr. Yarbrough’s home room class that was filled with 17 energetic young men in the school’s Junior class. Topics discussed included:
Work Experience – Student’s work history included a barbershop, Wendy’s and a Sports Media Assistant;
Importance of Education – All students said they plan to finish high school and about 2/3 of the class plan on pursuing some form of higher education;
Budgeting – The majority of class participants had experiencing managing money, whether it be in the form of a paycheck or allowance. One student even shared a great story of being given $100 and a grocery list and the challenges he faced at the store.
Savings / Paying Yourself First – Students shared several stories about saving money for shoes, clothes, iPhone, etc. Some students are even saving money just to have some…..we’ll call that an emergency fund!
The session was capped off with a game where small groups of students worked together to make budget decisions that individuals and families often have to make. Congratulations to Team “Pac” on their victory and for not making decisions such as not to pay for rent, taxes, food / groceries and car insurance that doomed their competition!
Minnesota Jump$tart Board was able to kickoff Financial Education month by joining BestPrep for a kick off session of The Stock Market game. 5th grade students at Chanhassen Elementary School were introduced to the The Stock Market, a competition amongst hundreds of students in Minnesota where teams of 2-5 students work together to invest $100,000 in virtual money in a portfolio of individual stocks traded on the NYSE and NASDAQ in the hopes that their portfolio only goes up by end of the competition in late May. During this kickoff session, the students were introduced to compounding, diversification of investments and how to perform basic research on a stock amongst other invaluable investing topics. When asked about possible companies to invest in, students mentioned such well known companies as Chipotle, Nike, Apple, McDonalds, Amazon and Facebook. The level of knowledge these students have is quite impressive. I wouldn’t be surprised if this session’s winner of The Stock Market game comes from Chanhassen Elementary’s 5th grade class!
Here is a link
to learn more about BestPrep’s Stock Market Game
After the conclusion of Minnesota Jump$tart’s Teacher Panel discussion, attendees were able to watch a simulcast of Fed Chair Yellen Teacher Town Hall event. A great summary of the event was included in the January 12, 2017 edition of the New York Times and can be found by following this link.
Prior to the Teacher Town Hall with Chair Yellen last week, the MN Jump$tart Coalition facilitated a panel discussion with five Minnesota teachers to get their insight on best practices for teaching financial education. Some of the key points they made are below:
- Make sure the curriculum or lesson is interactive – include a game, activity or hands-on experience that allows students to learn in real time.
- Make your classroom a safe space for students to practice making financial decisions. Making a mistake or misstep in a class or as part of a lesson (i.e. they overspend their “budget”) allows them to then learn and apply different strategies next time versus trying to manage real-life consequences that can be detrimental to their financial success. Use curriculum that supports this type of learning.
- Content should be relevant to a student’s personal experiences and goals! The panel encouraged others to make the information and curriculum relatable for students – for example, discussing how budgeting and saving play into their social lives or college plans.
- Teachers appreciate support and expertise from business professionals to help provide financial education, including acting as mentors. Many students greatly benefit from a mentorship relationship; mentors can share their own personal experiences and professional journeys, which then allows a student to better understand how their academic, career and financial success is interconnected.
- Understand that students come from various cultural and socioeconomic experiences with finances or financial responsibility and many often teach their parents and families some of the key economic and personal-finance topics they learn at school. Engaging parents and families in open conversations about finances is encouraged when possible.
Thank you to our panel of accomplished teachers: Molly Burnham, Maranatha Christian Academy; Kris Sommerville, Como Park Senior High School; Craig Spreiter, Tartan High School; Steve Steffl, St. John the Baptist School; Mike Iacarella, Edison High School.