Financial Literacy

/Financial Literacy

The Retail Industry Changed Last Week…NGPF Has Resources Aligned To These Current Events

This has been a big week of news related to the Retail Industry in the U.S., with implications for the economy, jobs, shoppers, and investors. This post will explain the big events for the week, their implications for you and your students while also providing activities and lessons that are aligned to these current events.

What’s Happening?

NGPF Podcast: Tim Talks to Dave Mancl About How Wisconsin Increased Access to Financial Education

I really enjoyed my recent conversation with Dave Mancl. He provided awesome insights about how actions at the state level can act as an accelerant to get financial education into more K-12 classrooms. Dave’s state, Wisconsin, has been an early adopter in seeing the value of this education and created a comprehensive and holistic approach to increasing access.  In this podcast, Dave shares his work as director of the Wisconsin Office of Financial Literacy in the Department of Financial Institutions and the keys to his success in driving financial education efforts.  You will also learn more about how to successfully manage a nightcrawler business. Enjoy!


  • 0:00~1:08 – Introduction
  • 1:08~1:52 – Dave’s day job
  • 1:52~3:41 – Interest in financial literacy
  • 3:41~6:13 – First job
  • 6:13~11:44 – Office of financial literacy
  • 11:44~15:23 – Increasing access to financial education
  • 15:23~20:37 – Strategies for success
  • 20:37~21:58 – Personal finance at the
By |June 5th, 2017|Advocacy, Current Events, Financial Literacy, Podcasts, Policy|

What is Bitcoin and How Does Cryptocurrency Work? (A Primer)

Recently, Bitcoin, the most famous of the cryptocurrencies, has soared to all-time highs (Fortune, May 2017), increasing the amount of press attention and internet searches (Google Trends, May 2017) surrounding the little-known digital currency.  We’ve also heard this question from many of our users, “what is Bitcoin and what do my students need to know about cryptocurrencies”?  You are not alone!  83% of respondents in a 2015 survey conducted by PwC were “slightly familiar/not at all familiar” with cryptocurrencies (PwC, August 2015).

Image result for knowledge of cryptocurrencies remains limited

Although a complex topic, we will attempt to shed some light through this brief primer:

Cryptocurrency Explained in One Paragraph:  Bitcoin is a new currency that was created in 2009 by an unknown person using the alias Satoshi Nakamoto.  Bitcoins [and other cryptocurrencies] can be used to buy merchandise anonymously.  Transactions are made with no middle men – meaning, no banks! There are no transaction fees and no need to give your real name. More merchants are beginning to accept them.  In addition, international payments are easy and cheap because bitcoins are not tied to any country or subject to regulation. Small businesses may like them because there are no credit card fees. Some people just buy bitcoins as an investment, hoping that they’ll go up in value.” (CNN Money

What is Bitcoin (and how is it different from traditional currency)? Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, such as Litecoin, Ethereum, Zcash (Investopedia, 2017),  are digital, de-centralized, and verified currencies.

We Are #7, We Are #7, We Are #7: When Is the U.S. Going to Commit To Financial Education?

PISA Financial Literacy results are out and here are the standings (by country):

Bringing Financial Education To 1,200 Classrooms In 60 Days: What We Learned from Our Partnership

We set a goal this spring to bring Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) activities and projects into 1,000 new classrooms throughout the U.S. Our experience leading workshops at dozens of educator conferences all over the country had demonstrated the power of trial. That is, getting educators to spend 15 minutes “trying” out our website using a Scavenger Hunt had a powerful effect as we often heard:

  • “I wish I knew about you sooner.”
  • “There is so much here that I can use.”
  • “This will save me SOOOOO much time!”
  • “Thank you for making my job so much easier.”
  • “I can’t wait to use this resource with my class on Monday.”

We grappled with a big question: Who could we partner with who could act as an accelerant to get more teachers to “try” our projects and activities in as short a time period as possible? Why the urgency? When we hear stats like “20% of high school students are graduating with any personal finance education,” we know we have to do better as a country given the importance of these skills. 

Schools in the News

  • Inspiring Educator: Ami Amero (WCSH6) [Editor’s note: You can listen to Ami’s story on this NGPF podcast]

This week’s Maine Education Association Inspiring Educator is Ami Amero. Amero has been teaching history at Forest Hills Consolidated School in Jackman for the last 20 years. During her time there, she started a personal finance class to help students with real life finance after graduation. That class is now a requirement for all Forest Hill students to graduate. Amero is now asking local representatives to draft legislation to have the personal finance course a statewide requirement for all high school graduates.

  • Twin Falls High School personal finance class learns about home buying (

Introducing NGPF’s Summer Institute 2017 Participants!

Session 1: June 2017

Brent Gostomski from Stevens Point Area Senior High School (Stevens Point, WI)
After five years of working in the business world, Brent transitioned to teaching at the high school level.  He developed his passion for personal finance from his high school Personal Finance teacher. Brent teaches in face-to-face, online and blended learning formats. In addition to teaching, he coaches multiple sports and enjoys spending time with his wife Alli and son Porter.

Erin Johnson from The Soulsville Charter School (Memphis, TN)

Erin has been teaching for 8 years and has a passion for building online learning communities to provide students more choice in how they learn critical concepts and skills.  Erin also believes that students should be active in their communities, sharing the knowledge they have learned with others.  In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, reading, and home design. 



Jeffrey Snyder from Wayne Valley High School (Wayne, NJ)
Jeff Snyder has been teaching personal finance, financial literacy, and accounting for the last 9 years. He is passionate about empowering his students

Schools in the News


  • How Microlending Builds Financial Literacy Skills and Empowers Students (Education Week)

Teachers understand that creating authentic, real-world learning experiences engage students in a way that improves learning and makes it more enjoyable. At Town School for Boys in San Francisco, 6th graders engage in a yearlong study of microfinance using project-based learning that explores what it means to run a business while developing meaningful success skills along the way. While global education initiatives have traditionally focused on humanities and science classes, the boys find many lessons of mathematics complement their journey while partnering with nonprofit, which is headquartered in San Francisco.

First period at Bennett High School was interrupted Monday by a rock concert. At least it started out that way. The Nashville-based, Kansas-bred band GOODING rocked the high school’s auditorium for four or five songs before the band’s lead singer and namesake turned teacher and gave the howling crowd of students a lesson on a subject they don’t often hear about in the classroom: