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Consumer News Release

For immediate release -- June 29, 2004.
Contact: 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 22-23 Conference.

DES MOINES. The Honorable Robert D. Ray, former Governor of Iowa, will keynote a statewide teacher-training event in Des Moines on "financial literacy" for young people. The Iowa "Jump$tart Coalition" will host the fourth annual personal finance conference for secondary teachers July 22-23 at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel, 4800 Merle Hay Road in Des Moines.

Graduate and staff development credit will be offered. Scholarships are available from the Iowa Credit Unions and the Iowa Credit Union Foundation for reimbursement. 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 the latest trends in financial management. Educators will be able to discuss the emerging cultural differences in the classrooms. 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, consumer debt, insurance, identity theft, saving, and investing.

Background:

The Iowa Jump$tart Coalition, established in 2000, is a public-private partnership of agencies across the state. Listed below are the member agencies of the Iowa Jump$tart Coalition. The organization relies mainly on the support of volunteers and is dedicated to improving the financial literacy of Iowa's youth. Check out the Iowa Jump$tart Coalition's website at: http://www.iajumpstart.org

A major goal of the event is to raise awareness about the strong need for financial education. Iowa high school seniors topped the national average regarding financial literacy, based on the results of a 2004 Jump$tart youth financial literacy survey. However, they scored only 53.7% of the questions correctly which is still a failing grade based upon the typical grade scale used by schools. The national average was 52.3 percent, up from 50.2 percent in 2002 and 50.9 percent in 2000.

Unfortunately, the results also demonstrated that Iowa youth still lack the basic knowledge needed to successfully manage their finances. "We are pleased that high school students from across Iowa participated in the 2004 financial literacy survey," said Sue McDonnell, president of the Iowa Jump$tart Coalition. "While Iowa 12th graders continue to score above the national average, the low scores overall continue to show the need for personal finance education in all Iowa schools."

"Iowans are proud of our high literacy rate and access to an outstanding education," says former Governor Robert D. Ray. "It's important for us to maintain our high standard of learning and provide students opportunities to prepare themselves for the world of finance, credit and debt."

"The Iowa Jump$tart 4th Annual Conference on Personal Financial Literacy for secondary educators will provide teachers the tools they need to build financial skills in Iowa students," added Sue McDonnell.

Members of the Iowa Jump$tart Coalition

Automated Accounts Management Services
The CBE Group
Center of Economic Education, University of Northern Iowa
College Planning Center & Iowa Student Loan
Consumer Credit Counseling Services of Family Services
Consumer Credit of Des Moines
DynaMinds Publishing
Financial Planning Association of Central Iowa
ING
Iowa Attorney General's Office
Iowa Bankers Association
Iowa Credit Union League
Iowa Division of Banking
Iowa Securities Bureau
Iowa State University Extension
Metropolitan Debt Solutions
Professional Educators of Iowa
TransUnion
Wells Fargo

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