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Consumer News Release

For immediate release -- July 8, 2003.
Contact: Bob Brammer, 515-281-6699,
Sue McDonnell, ISU Extension, 641-732-5574, or
Debra Moore, Iowa Attorney General's Office, 515-281-8770.

Iowa Educators to Hone "Financial Literacy" Teaching Skills at Workshop

Registration is still open for July 24-25 Conference.

DES MOINES. Attorney General Tom Miller and State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald will keynote a statewide teacher-training event in Des Moines on "financial literacy" for young people. The Iowa "Jump$tart Coalition" will host the third annual personal finance conference for secondary teachers on July 24-25 at the Baymont Inn & Suites on Army Post Road in Des Moines.

Graduate and staff development credit will be offered. Scholarships are available from the Iowa Credit Union Foundation to reimburse participants for part of the cost of the credit after completing the course requirements. The registration fee is $50 and includes printed materials, breakfast, and lunch.

For more information, contact Sue McDonnell, Family Resource Management Specialist, Iowa State University Extension, Osage -- 641-732-5574, or suemcd@iastate.edu.

The two-day conference will feature lectures, hands-on activities, idea-sharing and tours of financial-related sites in Des Moines. The conference will provide teachers with up-to-date information, suggested teaching strategies and sample classroom materials on a wide range of topics, including credit cards, car buying, home ownership, saving, investing, and consumer protection.


The Iowa Jump$tart Coalition, established in 2000, is a public-private partnership of agencies across the state. The organization relies mainly on the support of volunteers and is dedicated to improving the financial literacy of Iowa's youth.

A major goal of the event is to raise awareness about the strong need for financial education. Iowa high school students compare favorably to other states regarding financial literacy, based on the results of a 2002 Jump$tart youth financial literacy survey. Unfortunately, the results also demonstrated that Iowa youth still lack the basic knowledge needed to successfully manage their finances.

"It's important to reach young people before they buy a car or obtain a credit card, so they can make the best financial decisions," Attorney General Tom Miller said. "We especially want to help young people establish good credit and learn how to manage their finances so they can avoid falling into heavy debt, which can haunt them for years." Teachers can help students learn these skills in business, math, computer, and consumer science classes.

"Developing programs to teach financial management skills for teens will benefit these students and our state for generations to come," said State Treasurer Michael Fitzgerald.

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