Register Now for Financial Literacy Teaching Workshop

AMES, Iowa – Iowa middle and high school teachers have until June 1 to register for training in the Family Economics and Financial Education (FEFE) program, a nationally recognized financial literacy curriculum. The workshop is set for July 13-15 at Iowa State University.

The FEFE training will equip teachers with new lesson plans and learning activities to help them build financial literacy skills in Iowa middle and high school students, said Cynthia Needles Fletcher, ISU Extension specialist and professor of family economics and public policy in the Department of Human Development and Family Studies.

“We offered the workshop last year to a capacity registration of 75 teachers and had an overwhelmingly positive response — and a waiting list. The registration limit again this year is 75 and we have about 10 spaces left to fill,” Fletcher said.

Family Economics and Financial EducationThe workshop is centered on the semester-long middle and high school FEFE curriculum that is supported by the Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences at the University of Arizona, Fletcher explained. Registration is available online at

ISU Extension and the College of Human Sciences are partnering with the Iowa College Student Aid Commission and the Iowa Insurance Division to offer the training.

“Thanks to generous sponsorship from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission and the Iowa Insurance Division, the full registration fee of $645 per person will be reduced to $125 for school counselors or educators who are licensed and teaching in Iowa,” Fletcher said.

Practical resources for teachers

“The fee includes four curriculum binders full of practical, user-friendly teaching resources. Counselors or educators who include career planning in their curricula will receive first preference. Others interested in attending will be placed on a waiting list and if space is available, may register at the full workshop fee,” Fletcher said.

In addition to hands-on activities, the workshop will feature keynote presentations from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission staff; Craig Goettsch, director of investor education and securities counsel with the Iowa Insurance Division; and Jeanne Hogarth, manager of the Consumer Education and Research Division, Federal Reserve Board, who also served as the 2009-10 ISU Helen LeBaron Hilton Endowed Chair at Iowa State.

This workshop is a non-credit offering, Fletcher said. However, one teacher licensure renewal credit and/or graduate or undergraduate Human Development and Family Studies credit will be available for those who want those credits.

Meeting the 21st century skills challenge

Iowa 21st Century Skills Core Curriculum requires that Iowa schools teach financial literacy skills to K-12 students, beginning with grades 9-12 by the 2012-13 school year, Fletcher said. “The FEFE curriculum helps teachers meet the 21st century skills challenge. There is a demand for financial literacy training among teachers, counselors and community educators.”

Iowa State has a history of teaching, research and extension work in financial literacy, Fletcher noted. “It just makes sense to give Iowa educators an edge in meeting the Iowa Core requirements.”

Last year United Way of Story County (UWSC) sponsored seven teachers who attended the workshop, noted Kristin Pates, UWSC campaign coordinator. During the 2010 fall semester those teachers introduced nearly 350 students to basic financial literacy and career exploration. UWSC plans to sponsor four more teachers for this year’s workshop.

“With today’s economy and constantly increasing competitiveness, communities need to do everything possible to adequately prepare students for their experiences post-high school,” Pates said. “Once teachers have all the necessary resources to prepare our community’s students, the capacity for success is limitless.”