WHAT WE DO:
Networks Financial Institute at Indiana State University (NFI) facilitates broad, collaborative thinking, dialogue and progress in the evolving financial services marketplace through three targeted initiatives:
NFI conducted national research that identified a critical gap in financial literacy educational resources to support the third–through fifth–grade population. Additional research confirmed that teachers often felt ill-prepared to teach financial literacy and thus refrained from integrating it into their classroom curriculum. Parents also reported feeling poorly prepared to discuss financial management with their children. Adding to the complexity of the situation, national research indicated that parents thought educators were teaching financial literacy; and, educators thought parents were covering this concept at home.
Based upon this research, NFI launched a financial literacy initiative to address the needs of the underserved third- thru fifth-grade population, including specific programming for teachers and families.
WHAT WE OFFER:
In 2006, NFI launched Kids Count on the Money Bus™, a financial literacy field trip on wheels. The 40-foot custom RV is loaded with interactive games and activities that complement a pre-visit curriculum focused on basic financial management concepts such as differentiating between wants and needs and delayed gratification. Content is mapped to state standards in reading, math and social studies. Following the Money Bus school visit, students receive the My Family Counts™ workbook that provides money management activities they can continue at home.
The success of the Kids Count on the Money Bus program in Indiana prompted NFI to launch the Kids Count: The Road to Financial Literacy™ online curriculum in 2009. This free, online resource provides teachers with 15 downloadable lesson plans, a glossary of search terms, pre- and post-test assessment tools and much more. Curriculum is mapped to state reading, math and social studies standards in all 50 states, making it easy for teachers to integrate personal finance into their lesson plans. This resource may be viewed at www.nfikidscount.org.
NFI also created a board game—Kids Count: The Fun Game of Dollars and Sense™. As players progress around the board, they learn concepts essential to sound personal finance, including basic math, reading and problem solving skills needed to develop life skills in money management.
Teachers must feel comfortable with any content they introduce into the classroom. To assist educators in best presenting personal finance lesson plans, NFI offers free Kids Count Professional Development Programs. Workshops focus on providing elementary teachers with resources that broaden their own knowledge of financial literacy as well as their effectiveness at teaching the subject to third, fourth and fifth-grade students.
WHAT WE NEED:
Networks Financial Institute is committed to continuing to respond to the financial literacy needs of students and adults. The financial turmoil our nation is experiencing–and resulting problems such as home foreclosures, rising bankruptcies and credit card debt–point to an ongoing need for resources to make Americans more financially literate.
Funding: NFI is a not-for-profit organization and needs partners to help develop, create and implement educational programs. Funding is needed for program development, educator instruction and on-site programs delivered to schools.
Fall 2009 will mark the first full semester of the Kids Count: Road to Financial Literacy curriculum in schools nationwide. Educator workshops will continue throughout the fall season. An exciting new online game is in development and will be in pilot this winter. Stay tuned as Kids Count goes virtual!
Priscilla Wolfe, Ph.D. Director of Financial Literacy
317-536-0281, ext. 709
Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy