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By Rebecca I. Gallagher - Board of Directors, California Jump$tart Coalition

CA Jump$tart’s most recent offering of our Financial Foundations for Educators (FFE) training was an invitation from the Los Angeles County Office of Education, to bring the program back to teachers in LACOE’s service area, after our first FFE in 2018.

This June, the offering was well received by the group of about 50 teachers (new and veteran) who attended the two-day workshop. Read on to enjoy the enthusiastic comments made by attendees on our FFE segments.

By Andrea Ferrero,

Financial Literacy Day was celebrated on June 26th on Capitol Hill. Students, educators, finance education leaders, and policy makers came together to discuss the future of financial education. Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-OH) kicked off the event sharing that “Financial literacy is important for today, tomorrow, and all our futures.” The energy of that message resonated through the afternoon as everyone explored the tremendous potential of finance education to spark change and transform lives.

As a board member of the California Jump$tart and the Executive Director of Pockets Change, I was drawn to the sense of collaboration. From students sharing the impact of finance education in their lives to organizations discussing how we can all advocate for greater access and application of resources, everyone shared that financial literacy impacts much more than our wallets. We change lives when we work together to build financial literacy and financial resilience.

Celebrating JumpStart Coalition Capitol

Celebrating Jump$tart Coalition’s impact across the country! Laura Levine CEO and President of National Jump$tart, Bill Cheeks Jump$tart Eastern States Regional Director, President ABBA Associates Inc., Executive Director of Coalition to improve Credit Education, and Andrea Ferrero California Jump$tart board member and Executive Director of Pockets Change

Los Angeles Unified has announced plans to partner with the California Council on Economic Education (CCEE) and City National Bank to provide high school seniors and families greater access to financial literacy education. CCEE will provide free financial literacy workshops for LAUSD students and their families, thanks to a generous donation from CCEE Board Member, John Nickoll and the Nickoll Family Foundation. The workshops will complement a digital interactive tool from City National Bank that high school seniors can use to learn personal finance in the classroom. Lessons for both programs include how to apply for financial aid, establish credit, invest wisely and more.


Kathie Blanchette, VP of Education, Junior Achievement of Northern California (925) 465-1073 / This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Empowering Local Students with Financial Literacy Education

JA Finance Park Mobile
February 19 - March 1, 2019, Sonoma County Fairgrounds

Junior Achievement of Northern California organizes hands-on financial literacy learning experiences for youth in 23 counties.

SANTA ROSA, Calif. – Luther Burbank Savings is pleased to present the JA Finance Park® Mobile to the students of Sonoma County. Produced by Junior Achievement (JA) of Northern California, the JA Finance Park provides an innovative and interactive environment for middle school and high school students to learn personal finance literacy skills and some of the basic economics of life for the 21st century.

Underwritten by Luther Burbank Corporation Foundation and staffed by more than 70 Luther Burbank Savings employees, JA Finance Park Mobile will welcome over 1,200 students during nine days this month. Upon arrival, enrolled students will find multiple dynamic storefronts and kiosks where they will be able to engage with educational tools to gain an understanding of managing money effectively and efficiently through a variety of everyday scenarios.

To be eligible to visit the JA Finance Park, students will have completed 13 hours of class-led coursework. Junior Achievement provides the curriculum and works with teachers committed to helping their students achieve financial literacy.

- By Cathy Washer, Superintendent at Lodi USD

In the California History Social Science Framework for students in grade 12, Chapter 18 refers to the Principles of Economics. Lodi USD senior students are required to complete a semester course called, "Economics" that is based on the History Social Science Framework in order to graduate. In this course, students begin learning about economics from a personal perspective starting with personal budgeting and moving outward to their role in the world. Teachers use this opportunity to provide activities to guide students in the awareness of financial understanding. Many teachers use Financial Fridays as a way to develop financial literacy throughout the semester. Based on a financial identify chosen, students learn to develop a budget, pay bills, save money and invest. Students enjoy the activities and indicate the activities provide them insight into choices for their future and what they hope to accomplish.

With 54 schools and 30,000 students, and covering 350 square miles in the Central Valley of Northern California, Lodi Unified is the 30th largest school district in the state, and was the first to offer a two-day teacher training from California Jump$tart in 2016, to rave reviews. Here is an update on how their efforts have proceeded in the past two years:

  • Several elementary and secondary teachers voluntarily began including financial topics in the classroom almost immediately after the training.
  • The Board of Education has asked that all students receive training before graduation.
  • The required economics class currently includes about three weeks of instruction on financial literacy, via “Financial Fridays,” specific times that are set aside. For example, to cover Checking/Savings accounts, one teacher starts with a PowerPoint presentation and follows that with active learning--students research a financial institution; students practice writing checks and maintaining a check record.
  • The econ teachers are receiving training in personal finance teaching methods, and starting next year, their classes will be using materials from to synchronize their coverage of this important topic.
  • Two semester-long classes in personal finance receive math credits, one in the college-prep track and the other primarily in the alternative programs. Between 350 and 500 students take one of these courses per year.
  • Lodi has invited California Jump$tart to come back and present Financial Foundations for Educators to a whole new group of their teachers. We can’t wait!

Hope your 2019 is off to a terrific start. The end of January is a perfect time to start a budgeting process for yourself—there are three steps: first, take your bank statement and credit cards and see where your money went in January. Then make a budget for February—don’t forget to include your significant other if you are budgeting for a family. Repeat monthly. The two-page form here will help you considerably. We promise that after the first time, this process should not take over an hour!

Next, to move the needle on financial training in California’s schools: An exciting new effort, “Project Groundswell,” has been started by our national affiliate, the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy. Starting Feb 4, you will be able to access a database to find out what your local high school is offering in personal finance subject matter. If your high school does not have data yet (and it probably won’t), please contact the administration and ask them the current status—the school has the capability to update the database. With enough parents calling their schools, that will start the conversation around the state! The site to access this will be posted on our website soon.

Even without a regulatory requirement, many districts are moving ahead. Read below for information about one success story, in Lodi, California. They started this process by asking California Jump$tart to come train the teachers in personal finance for their own sakes---we would be delighted to do the same for your district or county, at absolutely no cost to them. Let us know if we can help you make that happen by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Happy February!

- The California Jump$tart Coalition Board of Directors

In addition to CalCPA’s year-round Financial Literacy program offerings, we have traditionally offered a spring event that CAJ$ has co-sponsored or supported in some way. Over the years the target audiences have varied and the event titles have included Financial Literacy “Summits”, “FL Conference for Educators” and “FL Roundtables”.

In our most recent collaboration for 2017-18, we created “Smart Money Forums” with the intention to travel out to six established groups around the state rather than holding one event requiring people to come to us. The program design matured into being delivered in a variety of formats and to a variety of CA organizations/audiences that have not been our typical target audience.

As a result of this year’s CalCPA effort and CAJ$ co-sponsorship, we were able to increase the number of programs offered around the state. Some of the programs were also supported by the California & Nevada Credit Union Leagues where their local credit unions ran their “Bite of Reality” program. This combined support allowed six proposed programs to become ten. Thank you CAJ$ for your continued collaboration.

  • University of Redlands on October 20, 2017 – Supported by the “Bite of Reality” program – General students
  • University of the Pacific over a four-day period on October 30, November 1, November 6 and 8, 2017 – Incoming freshman students.? Supported by the “Bite of Reality” program.
  • ACAP, a minority based high School career program - held at Cal State University, East Bay on November 11, 2017.
  • YMCA of Orange County– employee financial literacy seminar on March 28, 2018. Topics included budgeting, setting and achieving financial goals.
  • Cal State University, East Bay on May 14 in conjunction with Senator Bob Wieckowski and with San Francisco Supervisor Malia Cohen – General students.
  • Women’s Shelter of Long Beach on May 9, 2018 – budgeting and saving financial literacy workshop for shelter clients
  • Larkin Street Youth Services– employee financial literacy training on May 15 & 22 and June 5 & 12, 2018.
  • Assembly member Shirley Weber sponsored a program on July 13 at Cal State University, Dominguez Hills on CPA careers and financial literacy during 2018 African American Leaders for Tomorrow Conference - Local high school students.
  • Kern County College Night on September 10, 2018 – Don’t be Swamped with Student Loan Debt - Local high school students.
  • Cal State University, Sacramento on September 19 – Six Keys to Financial Success for College Students – General students.

President's Adivosry Council is working on connecting PFL and Common Core:

From the July meeting minutes:

"We also are doing a deep dive into ways that we can promote the creation of pilots that align common core objectives and basic financial education concepts. In addition we are looking at how the two major consortiums created to assess common core learning's can help support this effort. We are having discussions with several organizations including the American Federation of Teachers as well as the Jump$tart Coalition to look for ways that we can encourage others who share our concern to work together to create opportunity"

Notes from the July PACFL meeting are at: Report.pdf

An Interesting Infographic on Raising Children:  "Costly Kids"

How much does it cost both financially and emotionally to raise a child? This new infographic from explores some of the headaches that come with "bundles of joy."  

Check it out at: