Press Releases


For Immediate Release
June 07, 2006 Contact: Charles Evenson
608-266-2026

Appleton East High School Receives $1,000 for Teaching Wise Money Habits Using Online Curriculum

(Madison) Appleton East High School (AEHS) has received an award of $1,000 for having the most students of any school in Wisconsin complete MoneySKILL, an innovative online financial education tutorial, during the fall 2005 semester. Representatives from AEHS accepted the award from Harley-Davidson Financial Services, Inc., which co-sponsored the event along with the Harley-Davidson Foundation, in a ceremony at AEHS on May 31.

Teachers Carol Kaufman and Keegan O’Brien had a combined total of 92 students complete MoneySKILL. Baraboo High School, the winner for the spring 2005 semester, was second with 77 students and Mishicot High School and Bay Port High School in Green Bay tied for third, with 75 students each completing the program. DFI’s Office of Financial Literacy managed the competition that also ran during the spring 2006 semester.

MoneySKILL was created and funded by the AFSA Education Foundation. Wisconsin was chosen for the MoneySKILL premier because of its outstanding national reputation in promoting financial literacy.

“I congratulate the teachers, students and Appleton East High School on winning this award,” said Governor Jim Doyle. “I strongly encourage all schools in Wisconsin to take advantage of MoneySkill. It’s a great resource that costs nothing and requires little of a teacher’s time but gives students financial skills that will last a lifetime.”

“We are delighted to be part of the effort to build financial literacy in Wisconsin,” said Kathryn Marczak, vice president, Harley-Davidson Financial Services (HDFS). “We congratulate Appleton East High School for its top finish.” HDFS provides wholesale and retail financing and insurance programs to Harley-Davidson dealers and riders and is wholly owned by Harley-Davidson, Inc.

The need for improved financial literacy is well documented. Today, more than third of all high school students have credit cards in their own names, wide access to Internet shopping and broad exposure to ever-increasing numbers of new financial products and services. Yet, numerous studies have shown that students receive failing scores on tests of their financial knowledge. Wisconsin students scored above the national average on a nationwide survey conducted earlier this year but their average score of 53.1 percent was still an “F” on any grading scale.

The National Jump$tart Coalition conducted the survey, the fifth one they have completed over the past eight years. All the surveys have recorded similar results.

MoneySKILL is reality-based and contains 34 “how to” modules that show students how to make informed financial decisions. A built-in grade book electronically records each student's pre- and post-test scores, module test scores, and course grade so teachers who use MoneySKILL require little training.

Many teachers learn about MoneySKILL while attending the National Institute of Financial and Economic Literacy (NIFEL). NIFEL, produced by the Wisconsin Jump$tart Coalition, consists of three one-week graduate-level sessions, held on the campus of Edgewood College, that show educators how to teach their students about personal finance, money management and some economics.

NIFEL was recently named “a recognized best practice for teacher training” by the Financial Literacy and Education Commission of the United States Department of the Treasury. Wisconsin Jump$tart was named the 2005 State Coalition of the Year for its work in promoting financial literacy in Wisconsin and also recently won a Governor’s Financial Literacy Award.

For more information about MoneySKILL or NIFEL call Teresa Walker at: 608-267-1713 or email her at: teresa.walker@dfi.state.wi.us. Educators may sign up for MoneySKILL at: www.moneyskill.org/.

Appleton East High School teachers Keegan O’Brien and Carol Kaufman combined to help the school win $1,000 in the fall 2005 semester state MoneySKILL competition. They had over 90 students—more than any other high school in the state-- complete MoneySKILL, the online curriculum that shows students how to make informed financial decisions. Harley-Davidson Financial Services and Harley Davidson Foundation co-sponsored the competition and brought one of their motorcycles to Appleton East High School for the check presentation ceremony.