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Dorothy Lerma - Passionate advocate for financial education

We're sad to share news of Dorothy's death in late December. She was a long-time advocate for personal financial literacy in California and a recipient of our California Jump$tart Leadership award in 2008. Dorothy was a major force in the success of CASDRAP and StudentDebtHelp.org and taught financial education across San Diego County, including Camp Pendleton. Our warmest condolences go out to her family and friends.

Memorial donations may be made to StudentDebtHelp.org, c/o Mary Snyder, P.O. Box 2855, Ramona, CA 92065.
McKinleyville and Tarzana High School Educators Receive Awards from California Jump$tart Coalition

February 10, 2010 - The California Jump$tart Coalition is pleased to announce the winners of its Financial Literacy Educator Awards.  Greg Delahoussaye, of the Economics and Social Sciences Department at Sherman Oaks Center for Enriched Studies in Southern California and Diane Howard, Chair of the Career Technical Education Department at McKinleyville High School in Northern California are being recognized for their work in bringing financial education to their students. Both educators have further distinguished themselves with their efforts to work with teens outside the classroom and bring community resources into the school to teach about wise use of money, setting goals, and building careers.

“Our children and young adults must learn about money to succeed in this challenging and complex world,” says Karen Anderson, Chair of the California Jump$tart Coalition, “ so it’s encouraging to have teachers developing innovative ways to teach to our youth”.  California schools do not require education on money management topics such as using credit, saving, budgeting and investing.

Both educators were nominated by members of the California financial community and selected by the Board of California Jump$tart to receive recognition and $2500 awards, which are generously sponsored by Citi, to their schools' financial education efforts.
December 30, 2009 - (by Dana Parsons, Los Angeles Times)

Kelsey Steinke thought of herself as a fairly bright college student -- except when it came to managing personal finances.  "I knew very little," she said. "Not much at all."  Compared to some of her peers, however, she was a downright prodigy. "I mean, there are some girls who don't know how to do laundry," she said. "If they can't do their laundry, how can they handle their finances?" 

That less-than-kind reality, coupled with a troubled economy that has frightened both novices and experts, has spurred renewed interest in teaching financial literacy to high school and college-age and younger students.


WASHINGTON DC, December 15, 2009 - Embarking on a new partnership between the agencies, U.S. Department of the Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Department of Education Secretary Arne Duncan met today with students, educators and community leaders to promote strengthened financial capability among the nation's youth. They outlined the first step in this effort, the National Financial Capability Challenge, a national award program that aims to encourage financial education in schools across the country and recognize high-performing teachers, students, and schools.

Informing this focus on youth are findings from a new national financial capability survey released today that measures financial capability levels among U.S. adults. Commissioned by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) Investor Education Foundation and developed in consultation with Treasury and the President's Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, the survey shows that young adults display much lower financial literacy than older generations. In addition, the findings on financial behaviors highlight the need to ensure that the next generation starts taking steps now to secure their financial futures.


During America Saves Week, individuals will be encouraged and assisted to assess their savings progress and take action to advance this progress. This encouragement and assistance will be provided by organizations and professionals with an interest in improving the financial security of individuals and families.

For more information visit www.americasavesweek.org


Financial experts agree that starting early is one of the keys to financial success.
Thus, $mart Money Choices = A Brighter Future was selected at the theme of the National Foundation for Credit Counseling's 2010 Poster Contest.

In an effort to increase interest in financial literacy to our nation's youth, the NFCC is once again sponsoring the Be Money Wi$e National Financial Literacy Poster Contest for 2010. For more on the contest and applications go to http://www.moneywisepostercontest.org/


The California Jump$tart Coalition brought together families across Southern California in October and November to learn about money.  All day sessions in San Diego, San Bernardino and Burbank drew almost 250 with topics from budgeting to credit and college planning.

With a grant from Chase and generous support of JA San Diego, CSUSB's College of Social and Behavioral Sciences, and JA Southern California, plus many others, these events offered parents and students an opportunity to learn and dialogue about money. Parents had feedback such as "This event was tremendously helpful to reach youth who otherwise would miss out on practical knowledge not done in high school", and "it gave my son an introduction and me, tools to work with him". Teens said "I learned effective ways to budget", "It helped prepare me for the real world", and "It was more fun than I expected!" Thanks to all who helped make these events possible!

The challenges of teaching personal finance in hard economic times drew more than 250 classroom teachers from 46 states to the first-ever Jump$tart Coalition National Educator Conference in Washington, DC on November 6-8. The forum, underwritten by Experian®, and developed in conjunction with the National Education Association (NEA), featured several Washington dignitaries. Sheila C. Bair, FDIC chairman, delivered 
the keynote address, and Anna Bernanke, wife of Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and a long-time classroom teacher, addressed the opening reception at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. For photos and more info go to http://www.jumpstart.org/index.cfm
August 9, 2009 - (by Kathy M. Kristof, Personal Finance LA Times)

The recession is a perfect time to give children hands-on lessons about how to manage their finances.  David Strauss knew he needed to do a better job teaching his children about money, but the layoff notice he received in January gave it a sense of urgency. "It made the discussions a lot more real," said Strauss, 43, a Boston-based radio station manager.

Knowing that the downsizing was coming, Strauss had already started talking to 17-year-old Daniel and 12-year-old Alexandra about wants versus needs and discussing how the family expected to cut back.  "The kids are interested in talking about money now," he said. "Daniel is getting his first job. Alexandra is about to have a bat mitzvah. It's pertinent to what's going on in their lives."


Michelle Greene
has been appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary of Financial Education for the U.S. Treasury Department, heading the Office of Financial Education. (For point of reference, this is Dan Iannicola’s old job.) In this role, Michelle will also serve as executive director of the President’s Advisory Council on Financial Literacy, and the OFE also administers the Financial Literacy and Education Commission (FLEC). Prior to this position, she was a member of the Obama transition team at the Treasury.