From our humble beginnings in 2000, we have planned an annual, statewide teacher conference that eventually became known as MoneySmarts.
Since 2001 and every year thereafter, our MoneySmarts Teachers Conference trained, on average, over 150 teachers each year. The MoneySmarts conference provided teachers with instruction in the use of curriculum such as the High School Financial Planning Program©, Take Charge Today© and InVEST©, as well as several workshops designed to improve their personal financial management skills. For fourteen consecutive years, we were able to facilitate teacher attendance by providing substitute teacher reimbursement; one night’s lodging for educators traveling more than 60 miles, as well as conference materials and personal finance curricula.
With our early collaboration with UNH Cooperative Extension, we have introduced the High School Financial Planning Program curriculum to the teachers who have attended our MoneySmarts conferences. As a result, according to the reporting metric associated with this curriculum, we have reached over 85,000 students through the teachers who have used HSFPP since 2002.
In 2012, we organized a statewide meeting of over 100 business leaders with the express intent of reaching parents through the workplace. At the Forum on the Financial Education of NH Workers and Families, participants learned about the impact of financial stress on New Hampshire workers and discussed how financial education can be one solution for positively impacting the workplace and the next generation of workers.
Beginning in 2015, we are entering a new era in educational professional development. Educators are many times, unable to attend one-day or multi-day professional development training with the budget challenges for many school districts as well as the diminishing supply of substitute teachers. Similarly, many employers do not have the capacity or the expertise to assist employees with money management.
As a result, the board of directors has decided to combine our two previous events into one, statewide financial literacy event that will provide narrowly-focused, content training to educators and employers as well as introduce them to the wide array of resources available to them through the national Jump$tart Clearinghouse.
We are currently conducting a fund-raising campaign for this event and do not have an event date scheduled for 2015. We are working very hard to make this new goal a reality this year.