Press Releases


For Immediate Release
July 03, 2007 Contact: Charles Evenson
608-266-2026

Foundations of Financial Fitness and Wealth Building Come Alive in Unique Course for Educators

But Students are Biggest Beneficiaries of National Institute

(Madison) Fifty high school educators will go back to their classrooms this fall freshly trained to teach about a topic dearly loved by their students—money. The teachers will come together next Monday for a week-long course crammed with information about saving and investing and how they form the cornerstones of financial security and wealth building. Investor Education, Economics and Insurance, the second of three sessions of the 2007 National Institute of Financial and Economic Literacy (NIFEL), runs July 9-13 on the campus of Edgewood College in Madison. The session includes on-site learning sessions at Northwestern Mutual Financial Network and Robert W. Baird in Milwaukee.

The NIFEL is presented by the Wisconsin Jump$tart Coalition, a nonprofit organization which last year won a Governor’s Financial Literacy award for its work in promoting financial literacy. The goal of NIFEL’s three courses is to show educators how to teach their students about personal finance, money management and some economics. The NIFEL has been named “a recognized best practice for teacher training” by the Financial Literacy and Education Commission of the United States Department of the Treasury. It is the nation’s only teacher-training program focusing on personal finance that includes three graduate-level sessions.

It is estimated that more than 100,000 students have been taught financial topics from attendees of the NIFEL since its inception in 2001. Independent assessments also show that on average participants increase their knowledge by about 13 percent and about 80 percent take some action back in their communities to further financial education.

“By instilling financial basics in students at an early age, they get skills and knowledge that can help them develop financial fitness for a lifetime,” said DFI Secretary Lorrie Keating Heinemann who chairs the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy which Governor Doyle created two years ago to advise him on how to improve financial literacy in Wisconsin. “DFI is happy to continue taking the lead role in giving educators the tools they need through the NIFEL.”

The program also includes sessions on the economic way of thinking, rating risk and reward and how stock prices are determined. A panel discussion on health care insurance includes Dr. Paul A. Wertsch, past president, Wisconsin Medical Society; R.J. Pirlot, director of legislative relations, Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce Association; Bill Enright, account executive, Snyder Insurance Agency; and Joe Kachelski, president, WHA Information Center, LLC. Paul Gores, business reporter of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, will serve as panel moderator.

The NIFEL results from a major collaborative effort by several major sponsors including the CBM Credit Education Foundation, Inc. (founding sponsor), Northwestern Mutual Financial Network (national sponsor), Edgewood College, Wisconsin Jump$tart Coalition and DFI.

For more information about the National Institute of Financial and Economic Literacy, contact David Mancl, Director of DFI’s Office of Financial Literacy, at 608-261-9540 or email him at david.mancl@dfi.state.wi.us.