Banking on financial literacy

SAHS business teacher to speak at Federal Reserve Bank conference

By HANNAH JOHNSON – Stillwater Gazette

Tanya DeWing will be in unfamiliar territory.

A business, economics and personal finance teacher at the Stillwater Area High School, DeWing will be a featured speaker at the Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition’s conference at the Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank Tuesday. DeWing will share information she received at the National Jump$tart Educator Conference in Washington D.C. last fall.

The Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition brings together individuals and organizations to improve the personal financial literacy of youth across the state. This year the Minnesota Jump$tart Coalition is presenting the theme: "Partnerships to Pay it Forward: Working Together to Empower Minnesotans for a Strong Financial Future."

DeWing competed for a scholarship last year so she could attend the national conference in Washington, D.C. That conference is specifically devoted to pre-K-12 personal finance education. Teachers are given the opportunity see, learn and try different educational resources to integrate into their current curriculum. That’s why DeWing vied for the scholarship.

" I applied to get more resources and improve my teaching," DeWing said of her personal finance class.

DeWing is in her third year teaching personal finance, an elective at the high school.

"I love it, but I wish it was a required class," she said. "It’s very practical."

In her class DeWing works with FamilyMeans to provide students with real-life scenarios where the students must give financial advice. Representatives from H&R Block have also spent time instructing students how to file their income tax returns while Stillwater Motors has explained rebates and car financing.

After instructing her group of sophomores, juniors and seniors, she will speak to educators, bankers, financers and non-profits about what’s new in boosting personal financial literacy across the nation. DeWing will use the information she gathered from the national conference last fall.

"My biggest goal is to get the audience involved so that there’s a sharing of resources," DeWing said. "It’s not just what I have that is exceptional. Everyone has neat things that we can learn from."

In addition to DeWing and other speakers, Minnesota Department of Commerce Commissioner Mike Rothman will also speak at the event. For more information visit www.mnjumpstart.org

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