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Press Releases


For Immediate Release
July 11, 2005  

First Lady Will Host 50 Top Teachers at Executive Residence
At Conclusion of Nationally Acclaimed Financial Education Boot Camp

(Madison) Wisconsin First Lady Jessica Doyle will host 50 educators at a luncheon at the Executive Residence on Friday, July 15, as part of the closing ceremony of the National Institute of Financial and Economic Literacy (NIFEL). The event will conclude the Saving, Investor Education and Insurance session being held July 11-15 at Edgewood College.

Participating educators will spend the week learning how to teach their students about financial literacy, using techniques such as saving, investing and insurance for financial security. The program includes a field trip to Milwaukee’s financial district with stops at Northwestern Mutual and Baird University, part of the Robert W. Baird and Company.

“Educators who participate in this session are leaders,” said Mrs. Doyle. “They are to be commended for attending a summer program that truly sets Wisconsin apart from the rest of the nation. We are serious about financial literacy in this state, and they are on the front lines when it comes to teaching students about money and financial systems.”

NIFEL is a pioneering program. It was recently designated “a recognized best practice for teacher training” by the Financial Literacy and Education Commission of the United States Department of the Treasury. It was created by the Wisconsin Jump$tart Coalition in 2001 when it was discovered that most educators lack the skills, knowledge, and training to teach their students about personal finance and money management. Earlier this year, Wisconsin Jump$tart was named winner of the first-ever “State Coalition of the Year” award from the National Jump$tart organization for its work in promoting financial literacy.

NIFEL consists of three one-week sessions. The Paychecks, Financial Contracts and Entrepreneurship session was held in June, and the Credit and Money session will be held August 1-5. All 2005 programs filled to capacity. (Registration for 2006 programs is now open.) Participants may earn three graduate credits per program at reduced rates.

This year for the first time NIFEL (formerly known as the Wisconsin Institute of Financial and Economic Education) opened its doors to educators from around the country in addition to Wisconsin teachers.

The need for improved financial literacy is great. A 2004 National Jump$tart survey revealed that Wisconsin students received a failing grade when tested on their financial knowledge. Money problems also are the leading cause of divorce and a leading cause of suicides among adults. Wisconsin is actively addressing these problems.

Earlier this year, Governor Jim Doyle created the Council on Financial Literacy to advise him on how government, private sector organizations, and community groups can improve the levels of financial literacy and knowledge among un-banked individuals and low- and moderate-income families so they can more effectively get credit and participate in our evolving financial system. Its next meeting will be Wednesday, September 21, 2005.

Also, DFI recently created a new Financial Education Resource Center on its website that provides financial education materials and information for parents, teachers and students at www.finlitwi.org/default/.

For more information about NIFEL, contact David Mancl, Director, Office of Financial Literacy, Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions, at 608-261-9540 or david.mancl@dfi.state.wi.us.

Or visit the DFI website at www.wdfi.org or the Wisconsin Jump$tart website at www.wijumpstart.org.