ICFE eNEWS #11-10 - February 22, 2011
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Toolkit Includes Ready-to-Use Lesson Plans on Budgeting, Saving, Investing, and
Other Critical Skills That Will Help Students Build Secure Financial Futures

WASHINGTON - A new "educator toolkit" with lesson plans that teachers can use to help students prepare for the upcoming 2011 National Financial Capability Challenge is now available. The Challenge, which will include a voluntary online exam for high school students that begins as of March 7, helps teach young Americans about saving, budgeting, investing, and other important skills critical to building a strong financial future. The highest scoring students on the exam will be recognized through a national awards ceremony in Washington, DC and other high-scorers will receive official award certificates.

"Empowering students with the knowledge they need to make smart financial choices about saving, budgeting, and investing for the future is good for the long-term strength of our economy," said Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner. "It will help ensure that young people have the skills they need to achieve financial security, and that will help us continue to build this recovery on a strong and sustainable foundation."

"Our students need to graduate high school ready for college and career if they're going to compete in a global economy," said U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan. "Incorporating financial literacy, through Treasury's online educator toolkit or other significant learning materials, will encourage students to make smart long-term investments, such as preparing to pay for college."

The educator toolkit, which is available online starting today at http://www.challenge.treas.gov/toolkit, covers five core competencies of financial education: earning, spending, saving, borrowing, and protecting against risk. It includes a collection of lesson plans from the Federal Reserve, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and non-profit organizations that are designed to help teach students important financial skills, such as developing a personal spending plan, balancing checking and savings accounts, understanding the costs of benefits of buying insurance, using credit wisely, minimizing exposure to identity theft, and making smart investments in their future through education.

Additionally, for the first time, this year's educator toolkit will include interactive online lessons and Spanish-language materials. The toolkit can be used not only to help prepare students for the Challenge's online exam, but also for year-round classroom instruction on financial capability.

More than 76,000 students and 2,500 educators in all 50 states participated in last school year's National Financial Capability Challenge. This year's exam will be available online between March 7 and April 8, 2011. Educators can administer the exam to their students at any time during that window. To register for the Challenge, educators should visit http://www.challenge.treas.gov between now and April 8.

In November, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, National Credit Union Administration, and U.S. Department of Education announced a new partnership to encourage schools and financial institutions to work together to increase students' financial capability, access to federally-insured deposit accounts, and savings. And just last month, Treasury launched a pilot program to offer safe, convenient and low-cost financial accounts for the electronic delivery of federal tax refunds to those Americans with limited or no access to traditional banking services.

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Sent by:

Paul S. Richard
President - Executive Director
Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE)

About the ICFE:

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education (ICFE) was founded in 1982 by the late Loren Dunton (creator of the Certified Financial Planner (CFP) designation).  The ICFE is dedicated to helping consumers of all ages to improve their spending, increase savings and use credit more wisely. 
The ICFE is an award winning, nonprofit, consumer education organization that has helped millions of people through its education programs and Resources. It publishes the Do-It-Yourself Credit File correction Guide, which is updated annually. The ICFE has distributed over one million Credit/Debit Card Warning Labels and Credit/Debit Card Sleeves world wide.

The ICFE became an official partner with the Department of Defense/Financial Readiness Campaign in June of 2004.The ICFE was an active partner in the California Student Debt Resource Awareness Project (CASDRAP) which resulted in a new web site: (studentdebthelp.org).  CASDRAP disbanded in 2010, shortly after the web site project was completed.  In 2011 the ICFE assumed the single sponsorship of the (studentdebthelp.org) web site and is now responsible for its content and operation.

The ICFE is also an on-line help for consumers who spend too much.  ICFE's spending help was featured in PARADE Magazine in the Intelligence Report section. The money helps and tips are from the ICFE's Money Instruction Book, our course in personal finance.

Visit the ICFE's other web sites at: www.financial-education-icfe.org and studentdebthelp.org.  Both sites helps consumers and students with mending spending, learning about the proper use of credit, budget and expense guidelines, how to set up and implement a spending-plan and also how to access financial education courses and how to teach children about money. Other ICFE services include: Ask Mr. G,  a free eNews, and an online resource center for students, parents and educators, plus financial education learning tools and a book store.

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