Jumpstarting Financial Literacy & Interest with Children Early In Life!

(Haven't heard the episode with Laura Levine yet? In the episode, she shares exactly how Jumpstart Coalition began and why it's important for teaching and raising financially literate children. Take a listen.)


Do you want to raise a money-smart child?


Are you in a state that requires financial education?


I am not talking about adding additional teaching to your already overflowing schedule. My goal is to facilitate awareness and gives parents ideas to implement at home with their children.


I have a roadmap to where a treasure trove of resources can be found for your classroom!

There is a wonderful organization that Laura Levine works for called Jumpstart Coalition.



While the coalition doesn’t offer resources, it is in place to support the work and resources that their partners and state affiliates offer in order to get financial literacy into schools.


That includes an online clearinghouse for all ages (even adults)! You can even search for free resources on the website.


I was reading Laura’s bio and saw something that really struck a chord. She stated that she wants to raise a money-smart son. Since I share that same goal, I decided to write a blog about financial literacy in schools.


Laura and I are both deeply invested in the idea of raising money-smart children and growing a generation of smart consumers.


Jumpstart Coalition definitely has the resources need to help educate parents and their children about financial literacy.


They are a coalition of more than 100 national organizations and 51 affiliated state coalitions that share a commitment to advancing financial literacy among our nation’s youth. Their goal is to reach out to people through cooperation and collaboration.


They include many different partners, various perspectives and types of expertise to improve financial literacy for our country.


How did it start? What are the roots of Jumpstart Coalition?


How The Program Was Launched

It all began in 1995 when Jumpstart was formed in response to the credit crisis.

They have been around almost been 25 years!


Back then:

Credit was becoming easily obtainable

Credit issuers were marketing to young adults (especially college campuses)


Young adults were getting credit cards without understanding how they worked


These young adults didn’t have any financial literacy education and quickly got into trouble with their credit cards.


That is when the Jumpstart founders decided the best way to help young adult consumers was to educate them before they went out into the world. Young adults would be armed with the financial literacy needed to make better decisions.


The founders recognized that:

  • Credit was a trigger

  • Financial planning is not done in a vacuum

  • Personal finance needed to be taught as a broad general concept

  • They also understood that when you narrowly focus on one thing, so many other things are left out.


That is especially true when the parts are so interconnected.


How Does A Financial Literacy Education Support System Start?


There is no official start with Jumpstart.


As with any educational endeavor starting early and building a solid foundation and building from there is key.

The National Standards Jumpstart is the publisher of the national standards on K through 12. That included personal finance, education and standard Start with Kindergarten benchmarks.


Jumpstart believes that children who are in pre-school can be taught some basic building blocks of financial literacy.

What is money?

Why is delayed gratification important?

Why should you resist spending all of your money?


It all starts with having healthy money conversations with your young children.


Making Financial Literacy Education Happen

So many people are starting to become aware that our country needs financial literacy. The question is how is it going to happen?


There are a couple of really good resources that Jumpstart Coalition uses.


The first tool is a survey of the states from the Council for Economic Education, which was one of the founding partners. They do a survey every other year lays out the financial education and economic education requirements by state.


The second is the Champlain Colleges National Report Card On Financial Education In High Schools.


Although they are both looking at the high school level, they indicate where each state is in terms of their financial literacy efforts.


Putting Financial Literacy Education Into Place

How do teachers fit into financial literacy in the classroom?


Jumpstart Coalition has the goal of giving teachers usable resources that are practical.

Sometimes the providers of a resource will initiate professional development. It may come in the form of teacher resources, guidebooks or online. Many resources include training and support for users.


Jumpstart does teacher events.


There is a national educator conference which is held every year. This year it is happening the first week in November. Teachers from elementary to high school level from across the country are brought to the conference. It’s an all scholarship event. If you are a teacher and you want to attend--you can apply for a scholarship (The scholarship deadline is August 20th)!


If you are selected you will attend at no cost for the actual conference (included registration fee, hotel stay, and meals). You’ll pay for your own transportation.

Jumpstart partners exhibit the resources and give presentations. There are many resources provided by government nonprofit organizations that are free.


Another thing Jumpstart offers is the Jumpstart Financial Foundations For Educators Model, which is a teacher training model that is licensed at no cost to help guide teacher professional development, and they are in the process of developing an online version.

Each state coalition has its own website for you to checkout.


How do you find your state coalition?


  1. Start at the jumpstart.org website

  2. Go to the state coalition page

  3. There will be a map (click on your state)

  4. Some of the state coalitions have social media, so check out their Facebook or Twitter accounts.


Jumpstart is serious about making financial literacy accessible!


(Haven't listened to Resources to Help You Teach Financial Literacy In and Out of the Classroom yet? The timing is really good right about now to do that!)



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