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Learn to Link to Your Econ Ed Resources - Classroom ECONnections from the Fed, Episode 3

ECONnections with the Fed icon

In this session of the Classroom ECONnections from the Fed webinar series, economic education experts will point you to a variety of free materials—including printed lessons, publications, videos and online courses—to enhance your teaching of personal finance content and to better engage your students. The webinar featured specialists from various Federal Reserve banks. Resources discussed include Building Wealth, Con ‘Em if You Can, Katrina’s Classroom, Keys to Financial Success, Page One Economics: Focus on Finance, and more.

Below is a full transcript of this video presentation. It has not been edited or reviewed for accuracy or readability.

Jean Roark: Good afternoon and welcome to today’s Classroom ECONnections with the Fed webinar. Our discussion today focuses on personal finance and linking your ECON Ed resources. I’m Jean Roark with the Federal Reserve and I’ll be your facilitator. Our presenters are joining us from Feds across the country today. From Philadelphia we have Andrew Hill. Princeton Williams is joining us from Dallas. From the Fed in Atlanta we have Amy Hennessy. And joining me in our St. Louis studio is Scott Wolla.

Let’s move to Slide 2 to cover our call logistics. If you haven’t done so yet, click on the webinar link you received after registering. This option offers a few benefits. You can watch the slides as they’re advanced. You can type a question directly to us, download the session materials, or even choose to listen to the audio through your PC speakers. I do want to note that the webinar performance does depend on your connection, so if at any time you’re having problems, just pick up the phone and dial the toll-free number.

As for questions, you can submit them at any time by clicking the “ask question” button in the webinar tool. And we will be pausing after each presenter to take your questions. So go ahead and get those questions in to us at any time. All right, now then, let me welcome our first presenter. He is Andrew Hill from the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia. And, Andrew, the floor is yours.

Andrew Hill: Thanks so much, Jean. I want to welcome everyone to the webinar, and today we’re going to talk a little bit—I’m going to talk a little bit about our Keys to Financial Success program. So if you’re not from around the Philadelphia area, you may not be aware of this program, and I wanted to make sure that you knew about this great offering. So this is a course plan for teaching your own semester or year-long high school personal finance course.

So if you’re a teacher who is teaching personal finance, you need to have your own semester or year-long course, but you may not necessarily know how to get up and running on that, or you already are teaching a semester personal finance course and you want to retool, this might be a really good option for you. So this is a curriculum that is actually aggregating lessons from a number of curricula that are known to be very successful in teaching high school kids personal finance. So we’re using lessons from Financial Fitness for Life, Learning, Earning, and Investing, and Practical Money Skills.

And then we’ve also created some additional lessons and activities and materials that we also use in Keys to Financial Success. We provide all the curriculum materials for you during a week’s training here at the Reserve Bank. That’s the traditional way that folks in our area come and participate in this program, and I’ll tell you a little bit more in a few minutes about how many teachers we have and what the results have been in terms of student achievement. In exchange for that, schools pledge to offer this course at least one semester in every school year.

Now, if you can’t make it here to Philadelphia, I’m still going to tell you how you can make use of these resources and get access to this curriculum. So, Jean, let’s go to the next slide. I want to talk a little bit about the features of this program. We started this in 2001 as a partnership with the University of Delaware Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship. And we had a number of key goals.

One was that we wanted to provide training and materials for teachers to be able to get up and running teaching their own semester personal finance course quickly and easily. Here in the Philadelphia area, there are a lot of small school districts, and we wanted to be able to provide our expertise in order to help those districts be able to add their own semester or year-long personal finance course. This is a personal finance course that is embodied or comes at the teaching of personal finance from what we call the “economic way of thinking.”

So it couples really well with an economics course, or as some people have done is to actually substitute away from their traditional economics course with this material. We wanted to provide flexibility so that any teacher from any discipline could be able to teach this. So if you’re in Family Consumer Science, you’re a Business Ed teacher, or you’re an Econ teacher, you could be teaching all this material with no trouble.

And then the other thing we wanted to do is to be able to assess the effectiveness of this program using pre- and post-testing. And I’m going to show you some of the results from that research that we’ve done. Jean, let’s go to the next slide. So the course has nine themes, and I’ve listed them there on the slide. And you’ll see the slide there in a second. I didn’t want to—I don’t want to read those out to you.

But what we wanted to do is to make sure that we had a comprehensive personal finance course. So this is not one that’s just emphasizing saving, investing, and budgeting. It goes all the way through, including things like risk protection, how to use insurance, how to deal with buying your first car, how to deal with housing issues that a high school student is going to face very soon when they go out into the world of work.

And then our research has shown overall that between the pretest and the posttest an average student gained by over 60% in their personal finance knowledge as a part of this program. This is a very large gain, and we’ve very proud of the teachers that participate in this program. And we think that this is a great option for being able to teach personal finance in the high school classroom.

Jean, let’s go to the next slide. So let me just explain very quickly how this program’s worked in the Philadelphia area. The University of Delaware Center and the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, we have trained over 350 teachers. And those teachers teach in over 170 schools. Then we have those teachers then reaching about 10,000 kids or more every year in the Tri-State Area. So we’ve been able through this train-the-trainer model to be able to reach a large number of students each year.

Let’s go to the next slide. I’ll explain just a little bit about how the curriculum works. I have to have a little graphic to be able to show you how this works. So you see there the teacher’s manual in the center of the diagram.

And we’re bringing a number of materials from the Council for Economic Education, 19 lessons from Financial Fitness for Life, six lessons from Learning, Earning, and Investing, and then an additional six lessons that are on the Virtual Economics thumb drive, which every teacher that comes to training gets a copy of that thumb drive. We’re coupling that with seven lessons from Practical Money Skills.

And then we developed another set of materials that are used in 23 of the Keys to Financial Success lessons. So, together, this builds out then an entire semester course. We train the teachers, which builds then their pedagogical content knowledge, and then they deliver the program to their students.

Jean, let’s go to the next slide. We’ve sketched out what a typical Keys to Financial Success semester would look like, and so covering all nine themes over a 16-week semester. And this is important, because pacing, as you can imagine, is very important when you’re going through an entire semester course.

It’s important to note that teachers have used this as year-long personal finance course. They’ve used it as part of what we call an enhanced economics course. This is primarily in Delaware where, over the course of an entire year, the students are getting 50% economics and 50% personal finance, and we’ve also had teachers been very successful using this in block scheduling.

Let’s go to the next slide. The training program that we offer here is really important or has been very important to the teachers, because it provides them the familiarization that they need with the entire way that the course works. And it emphasizes the development of this pedagogical content knowledge through lesson demonstration. So what we’re doing lots of is demonstrating the lessons that are in this program. So it’s a week-long course, and the teachers get 30 hours of professional development.

Let’s go to the next slide. Let me talk just briefly again about the study that we’ve done. You know, there’s lots of personal finances resources out there, but they’re not all rigorously researched in terms of their effectiveness. We’ve been very lucky that, because we have continuing contact with the teachers who teach this program, we’re able to pre- and posttest the students using the Financial Fitness for Life high school test, and then we’re able to compare our students’ results with those from what we call the norming sample.

This is a set of students who were tested when the test was written. So we used students from the 2011-2012 and the 2012-2013 school years, and this paper was published in the International Review of Economics Education if you want to go out and read the entire paper.

Let’s go to the next slide. I’ll just give you the overarching results. Our students, who you’re going to see here in the green, the light green bar on this graph, they got 41.5% of the questions correct at the pretest at the beginning of the course on average. That’s compared to students who’ve not had Financial Fitness for Life, who when the test was normed, they got 45% correct. So our students come from a further back position than the students in the norming sample.

At the posttest level, our students scored over 66% correct as compared to the students who had just had Financial Fitness for Life lessons, who got 56% correct in the norming. So this is where we have this 60% gain, over 25 percentage points gain, in the overall pre- to posttest. So this is a very large gain, one of the largest that’s out there in the literature.

Let’s go to the next slide. So if you say to yourself, “Well, you know, this would be a great thing for me to bring to my students. How do I do this?” well, the best way is to come to our training here in Philadelphia. It’s just a $50 registration fee. So if you’re able to make it here to Philadelphia, that’s the very best way. You get the curriculum materials. You get breakfast and lunch every day. You get 30 hours of professional development. But if you can’t come from training, the way that you can do this is to request a PDF copy, so electronic copy of the manual.

We also will send you a CD-ROM of the extra materials that we’ve developed. And then all you have to do is to get yourself a copy of Virtual Economics 4.5 from the Council for Economic Education. You can buy that from their store and then access the Practical Money Skills lessons free on the website. So you can get access and you can figure out how to do this on your own, and we encourage folks to be able to order the PDF if they’re not able to come for training.

Let’s go to the next slide. I just mentioned that training again. You can register for that training by going to And you can always contact my colleague, Todd Zartman. And his email address is It’s right there at the bottom of the slide. And he can answer any questions that you may have about the program.

Let’s go to the next slide. One of the things that I think’s really important is for you to see from teachers how this program actually works. And we’ve developed nine videos that have just been released. They’re available there at the shortened link that I’ve written. And so you can hear from practicing teachers. You can hear from President Harker, the president of the Philadelphia Fed. And you can see a bit of what the training is like. So all those videos are out on YouTube, and you can use that shortened link to get to the playlist. So that’s the Google shortened link.

Jean Roark: All right, thanks so much, Andrew. And I will check our inbox. It doesn’t look like we have any questions. But if you’d like to ask a question of Andrew, you can go ahead and click that “ask question” button, and I will get it queued for him. At this time I’ll just pause for a second to see if any come in. And I do not see any. So, Andrew, you might have to wait until the end. But for now I’ll turn it over to Princeton Williams.

Princeton Williams: Thanks, Jean. It’s a pleasure to participate in this webinar today with my colleagues from around the system. I wanted to tell you a bit about Building Wealth. The tagline, A Beginner’s Guide to Securing Your Financial Future, really gives a description of what this program is all about. It’s a suite of resources that serves as an introduction to personal finance topics.

So if we could go on to the next slide. Building Wealth really came about a few years ago for an adult audience so that they could begin to save money to fulfill their financial goals. It focused on basic topics like budget to save, save and invest, building credit, protecting your wealth through insurance.

You might remember if you’re familiar with an older version of Building Wealth that the characters used to have really strange skin tones and real posture problems. But we have done a complete redesign of the resource and updated it and freshened it up, and we are very excited to provide this new updated Building Wealth with all the good information from the old version.

So if we could move on to the next slide. There are really three parts of the resource that are relevant for teachers. The printed guide is about 30 pages long. It’s available in both English and Spanish. And the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas is happy to provide a classroom set of those printed guides for teachers at any time anywhere in the country. So we would ask that you order the 50 copies and use them and use them as well as you could. But don’t use tattered copies. We’re happy to provide them so there’s not a one-time version of that.

If you’re a school that has access, we also have two other versions of the material that’s in the printed guide. It has been optimized for tablet, for reading on the tablet. That’s available on our website. And also, there is an online guide that has taken the place—once again, if you’re familiar with the old materials, it was an interactive CD-ROM. But now that’s online and it includes information beyond what is in the printed guide or the tablet version.

The final thing I would point to you, and knowing we’re going to spend the rest of my time on, is that we have developed 12 classroom lessons with interactive PDFs and comprehensive procedure documents for these lessons designed to use in a high school classroom. So all of these are available to download on our website at

And I might make a mention here that there are two PDFs for each lesson. One will include—the interactive PDF contains the visuals for the lesson. And it is interactive in the sense that it has embedded flash code that allows the slides to become slightly more interactive and can work on an interactive whiteboard like a SMART Board, or it can be just driven from a laptop with a projector. The other document is a procedure document that contains step-by-step procedures to carry out the lesson plan.

Okay, if we could move to the next slide. So, once again, we’ve got the printed guide. And, as I mentioned, we are happy to provide that in 50 copies. You see the topics here. These are basic. So, as Andrew said, Keys is a comprehensive resource that is designed to fill an entire semester. These are more basic introductions to these topics. So, depending on the time you have in class, one or the other resource might be more appropriate for your classroom.

Next slide, please. As I mentioned, the tablet version contains all the material from the printed version and the online guide goes slightly further, particularly in the area of background on some of the characters and how they’ve worked through financial challenges. All right, and then the next slide. I’ve put all of these lessons—the names of the lesson plans here. These are all the topics that the lesson plans address.

They go along with the chapters of the book, so the first two lessons are Budget to Save. The next lessons are Save and Invest. And the final lessons are Build Credit and Avoid Debt. Those will be there for your reference in the future when you are able to access this PowerPoint online. But the suite that we’re going to look at today are four lessons from the Save and Invest category. So next slide, please. No. We’ll take just a moment to look at Stocks, Bonds, a Diversification Lesson, and then Investing for a Lifetime.

We’ll go quickly to the next slide. I’m just giving you a sample of each of these lessons here. We go back and really think about how—define stocks in kind of a classic way. But one of the things that we want to do is link back to those early lessons and the vocabulary that we’ve built. So we have defined wealth-building assets as assets that appreciate over time or provide a return. So we address how you can build wealth through stocks, appreciation, or dividends.

Go ahead to the next slide. And then we have an interactive balance sheet. So, early on, the kids learned how to measure their wealth using a balance sheet. And this interactive balance sheet is one of the flash codes that I mentioned. And you can raise or lower the stock price and you can see how that impacts your total wealth and the value of your assets.

You can push the green button in the lower right-hand corner and receive a quarterly dividend that will increase the amount of money in your savings account. And then all of it can be reset. You can even sell the stock and see how once that stock is liquidated and demonstrate to students how the fluctuations in the stock price no longer affect your wealth.

All right, go on to the next slide. Just to represent the bond lesson, we have our picture of our traditional bond here that came in paper form, a bearer bond that had a face value and a coupon rate. We describe all those terms related to the bond industry and then have a similar interactive balance sheet to talk about how holding bonds over time can build wealth.

Go ahead to the next slide. We use an illustration for mutual funds in our diversification lesson that it’s like having a piece of a layer cake. So all the different layers represent different financial assets, whether they be bonds or stocks. But all of those layers can be built into a cake by the institution that created the mutual fund. And an individual investor just has to buy one slice and they get a sample of all of those different financial instruments in their mutual fund.

Go ahead to the next slide. And then in the diversification lesson, it concludes with a lesson on how students would actually look at research in a mutual fund. So we’ve mocked up some information sheets. We actually created an information sheet for five types—five sample types of funds. We have a large cap, a mid cap, a small cap, a bond fund, and an international fund.

All of those funds we’ve used historic data just to average so that it doesn’t reflect any particular fund, but those funds actually do in fact represent some historical accuracy on what those types of funds have done over time. And in fact we used those five fictitious funds in our final lesson—and if we could go to the next slide—called A Lifetime of Investing for Students—used those five different funds in a random simulation. In four teams they allocate a $10,000 initial investment over a four-year period. So they allot the $10,000 in percentages, adding them up to 100%.

And then if you’ll go to the next slide. The teacher will put in those percentages and then grow that portfolio over a course of 40 years, 40 periods, in the classroom and see how that money grows. So, in this instance, I’ve clicked through one allocation, and $10,000 over 40 years grew to $890,000. This simulation is important because it’s different every time you use it.

So the numbers are historic returns for those types of funds, but they are pulled from a random table, so they are different in every class period. So those fifth-period students can’t find out what to invest in from second period and game the system so they can win later in the day. So we are excited about this, because it does enable a teacher to model that live kind of investment and the tremendous growth that can come through compounding, but also the risk inherent in investing in these types of funds.

And then the last slide. All of these resources are available, as I mentioned, at our website And this is my email if you have any further questions after the webinar. And I’d be happy to take questions now if we have them, Jean.

Jean Roark: All right, thanks so much for that, Princeton. And you do have a question. I’ll ask in just one second. But I want to let our participants know, if you have a question, just click that “ask question” button and we’ll get that queued up for Princeton right now. So, Princeton, your question is, “Where do we request the 50 classroom copies?”

Princeton Williams: When you go to the Building Wealth page and click on the teacher tab, you will see a tab along the top that says printed guide. And on that page there will be a link to the order form. And you can fill out that order form and we will ship those copies directly to your school. And on that order form, incidentally, I would appreciate it if you would indicate that you heard about it on the webinar, and that way I’ll know if we reached anyone today. If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to email me.

Jean Roark: That sounds good. And, Princeton, that was the only question, so I will turn it over to Scott Wolla here in the studio with me.

Scott Wolla: Thanks, Jean. My name is Scott Wolla. I am a senior economic education specialist here at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. I’m going to tell you about some of the new financial literacy resources we have here at the St. Louis Fed. When you look at our webpage, which you would find here at, you see a webpage that looks very much like the one on the slide. You’ll notice the gray bar at the bottom. That’s our filter.

We have a large collection of resources, and that filter in that gray area will help you drill down and find exactly what you’re looking for. So, for example, if you’re looking for a high school personal finance lesson on credit, the filter will allow you to do this by clicking on the high school image there, which is the young [inaudible 00:24:43] in the gowns. Under Resources you would click “lesson,” under Subject “personal finance,” and under Concept “credit.” And the filter would pull out lessons that would fit your needs.

Today I’m going to be talking about personal finance online resources. And so you’ll notice the red box at the top. There are two buttons there, one for teachers and one for students. When you click the “teacher” button, you’ll see what comes up on the next screen. And this page allows you to log in to our instructor management panel, and the instructor management panel is the portal which you use to manage your classroom. If you don’t have an account, you can click the button at the lower left there for register.

But we’ll assume that you have an account. You type in your user name, your password, and when you click “submit,” you see what’s happening on the next screen. This image is of the instructor management panel where you can enroll students, track their progress, and then also access pre- and posttest scores to use in your assessments. You’ll notice the green line at the top, that underneath that green line there are four important links.

That first link, “my classrooms,” this is where you create classrooms and you—the system will allow you to add students. So if you have five sections of personal finance this semester, you could create five different classrooms, and in each classroom you could add your 30 to 35 students. The system will generate a user name and a password for each of those students.

You would go one step to the right under Courses and you could look at our collection of online learning modules. There are 63 modules that teach Personal Finance and Economics, grades K to 12. You would make your selections, add them to your classroom. And then you can also add video. So that next link there, Video Q&A, we have 95 videos in our collection. Each of those videos comes with an assessment tool where you can assign your students multiple choice questions based on the content.

And so you would add those videos in that link there, Video Q&A. To the right is Professional Development. If you’re looking for online professional development in economics or personal finance, we also offer that. You can get professional development hours. You can get Federal Reserve certification. Or you can get graduate credit. And you can learn more by clicking on that link and exploring a little bit.

Next slide, please. But, as I said before, I’m going to talk a little bit about some of the resources that we’ve added recently. This is a video series we’ve just added. It’s produced by the FINRA Foundation. It’s called “Con ‘Em If You Can.” And, as you can see, it’s an animated series. These are very short videos. I think all of them are less than three minutes long.

But each one talks about a strategy commonly used by con artists in their efforts to take people’s money. And so the five videos are called—one is called “Phantom Riches,” “Reciprocity,” “Scarcity,” “Social Consensus,” and “Source Credibility.” So each one kind of tackles one of those commonly-seen strategies by con artists.

The next screen shows you two more screenshots of those videos. But also, it shows you what that Video Q&A assessment tool looks like. So, when you use the instructor management panel, you would select these videos. If you wanted to use them, you would send them to your students online. And then when your students access the video, they would watch the video and then they would have the opportunity to take the Video Q&A. And on your side and in the teacher portal, you would be able to see their scores.

Next slide. So the series I just showed you was five animated videos that talked about fraud. We have another collection called “Tricks of the Trade” also produced by the FINRA Foundation. This is a collection of 11 videos. It’s similar in that they’re talking about fraud. They’re a little bit different in that they’re a little bit longer. They’re non-animated. They’re more serious. And so these actually include interviews with people who were victims of fraud and also con artists who talk about the strategies that they use to defraud people of their money.

The next slide. And these next two pictures on the left are going to show you two screenshots from the last two videos in the series, which, you know, being educators, we realize that we talk about content and then we have a little bit of assessment and practice. And that’s what these two videos do. One is called “Ask and Check.” And they have the con artist there on the left wearing the shades and then the innocent homeowner answering the phone. And it goes through two scenarios, and it talks about what not to do and what to do when you get one of these calls.

And then the last one is called “Practice Spotting Persuasion,” where they just have this screen running with kind of all the kind of strategies that were discussed and rolled into one and allows students to go ahead and kind of practice picking out some of those schemes that they’ve learned about. And then again on the right side, all these videos when they’re used through our portal, the tool allows you to assign these multiple choice questions.

Next slide, please. So those videos were produced by the FINRA Foundation, and we house them within our instructor management panel. We have another series that we produced in partnership with the SIFMA Foundation. And the SIFMA Foundation is the foundation that is behind the Stock Market Game. And we have a couple of modules and also a couple of videos that teachers use as they prepare their students for the stock [inaudible 00:31:01].

One of them is “Understanding Capital Markets,” and this one defines stocks and bonds, provides an explanation of what capital markets are and how they work. “Wealth Creation for All” talks about the importance of saving. This video also defines stocks, bonds, interest, compound interest, and provides an explanation of what capital markets are. And, again, these include that assessment tool that I’ve been talking about.

Next slide, please. And spring is a great time to talk to your high school students, and especially seniors, about their college plans. We’ve got some resources that will help you kind of talk to your students about the essentials, things that they should be thinking about in their senior year. We have two resources here I’m highlighting today.

One is an issue of Page One Economics called “College, Learning the Skills to Pay the Bills.” And it looks at human capital, the value of a college education through the eyes of an economist. So looking at the relationships between education and productivity and income using two different economic models, so it will help your students kind of put some fine tuning into their thinking about the value of a college education.

The video on the right side is called “Saving for College,” and in the plot line here, we have high school student Martina. She’s thinking about those questions that your students are thinking about. So the video really goes through the basics about investing in human capital, factors to consider when you’re choosing a college, and then ways to fund higher education. And, again, each of these videos has that assessment tool, and that’s what you see on the lower right.

Next slide. Page One Economics, if you’re not familiar, is a publication that we produce. It’s actually produced by the Research Department here at the St. Louis Fed. Page One Economics has a general readership, unlike some of the other publications that are produced by the Research Department. And we produce a special edition of Page One Economics for classrooms. These are some of the topics that we have done recently.

So April is Financial Literacy Month, so we did one on stock market investing. It looks at the two different ways that mutual funds are managed, the actively managed funds and the passively managed funds or index funds. It explains the difference between the two. On the right side you see Page One Economics. This one is green. Every other month we publish a special version of Page One that focuses on finance. And those issues are green. And so this is the March issue that talks about the smart chips that are currently being used in credit cards.

And next slide, please. Two other personal finance issues that we’ve done recently. We did an issue on myRA. This is a new product that’s been rolled out by the Treasury Department. And it’s basically an IRA that’s offered to people that are thinking especially about people who don’t have the access to a retirement account.

These are invested in treasuries, and there’s virtually no risk, because the Treasury Department only invests in bonds. In fact, they guarantee the balance on these and participants can invest at no fee. And so it’s a great way to get started. And this might be a great way to talk to your students about retirement accounts, even though that’s a long way into the horizon for most of them.

Peer-to-peer lending is something that we’re seeing more of as an alternative to bank lending. And this talks about the ins and outs of peer-to-peer lending and its growing popularity. As I said before, each of these are produced specifically for the classroom, so every one of the issues that you saw comes with classroom material such as this one—this is the one about the smart chip—and along with the essay that your students would read.

And that essay includes both data, a glossary, visuals, and then you have this student guide, which includes a study guide for the student and then an answer key for the teacher. And oftentimes there’s another page there with additional resources. So it allows you to use that nonfiction text and close reading strategies that are encouraged by school districts. But we provide the key and try to make it an easy package for you to integrate into your classroom.

And please stay in touch with us. One way to stay in touch with the St. Louis Fed is to subscribe to email alerts. This is our website again, One of the buttons there on the left side is “subscribe.” When you click there, we’ll ask for some really simple information like your name and your email address, and then we’ll send you updates when we add new resources. And, finally, if you have any questions about any of these resources, feel free to contact me. My email address is there. And I will see if there are any questions.

Jean Roark: All right, thanks so much for that, Scott. And I am going through our inbox to see if we have any participants who have a question for you. And I don’t see any at this time, so I will turn it over to Amy Hennessy. Amy?

Amy Hennessy: Hi Jean. Thank you very much, and welcome to all of you today who are joining our conversation. I’m excited today to share information about our Infographics series. We encourage you to check out at the Infographics in PDF form. But we also offer these Infographics that I’m going to share in print form, and I will provide information about that at the end of my talk.

So, Jean, if you don’t mind advancing, please. We have two groups of Infographics, one that take a personal finance theme and are related to our curriculum, Katrina’s Classroom. The other is a series of economics content Infographics. We currently have in the economics realm supply and demand, the set explained international trade, specifically comparative versus absolute advantage.

We have a poster, an Infographic all about the different types of economic systems. And our ECON-focused Infographic posters also have supporting extension activities that you can find on our website, We are in the planning phases now—we have actually sent our drafts off to our designers and hope to have the new versions available in mid-June, and those topics in the personal finance category will be savings versus investing and then budgeting.

And then the ECON ones, we’re featuring one on GDP, and then the other one is on fiscal versus monetary policy. But today’s focus obviously is personal finance, so I’m going to share with you the four that we currently have under the Katrina’s Classroom Series.

So, Jean, if you’ll advance, please. So the first Infographic that goes along with Unit 1 has as an essential question “Why prepare for the unexpected?” and, “How do financial disasters occur?” The Infographic goes through some of the important ways in which people can be confronted with a financial disaster, outside of the obvious as it relates to our theme of the impact of Hurricane Katrina.

But beyond a natural disaster, many people over the course of their life might have an unexpected loss of a job. They may have very high education costs, you know, overwhelming student loan debt. They may have an unexpected illness or injury and have medical expenses, or they may have a loss of a family member. So we kind of address that in the new unit, and then that’s featured on the Infographic. And then that leads into the importance of why everybody needs to make a plan.

Planning helps us all to accomplish our goals and to manage decisions. We need to all prepare for a rainy day by creating an emergency fund, and that will help keep us safe in an emergency. And so then we identify what an emergency fund is and the rule of thumb of trying to build up three to six months’ worth of living expenses. And then the overall importance of planning and preparing for emergencies and how you need to have, you know, a list of all the items organized so that you can have access to important documents and financial contacts, et cetera.

So that’s our first in the series. If you’ll advance, Jean. Our next topic addresses the question of where do you bank and why it’s better to put your money in a bank than in our proverbial piggybank that many of us had in childhood. And it addresses the importance of keeping your money safe and secure, creating financial stability, helping you plan for emergencies, and really bringing you a whole host of other financial services to help as you manage your spending and savings and investments.

The next segment of the Infographic then is, you know, “What are the factors that we all consider in choosing banking services?” Accessibility. Is there online banking afforded? Mobile banking nowadays. Smartphone apps, et cetera. The different types of account features and fees that may be associated. And then location—proximity and convenience, et cetera.

The topic then, the focus of the Infographic then, shifts to how readily available your money is, whether you’re keeping it as cash, which gives you greater access during an emergency when you may need to pay cash for goods and services, and then how checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts, and certificates of deposit each increasingly have less liquidity. We identify them at the bottom of the Infographic, the importance that these accounts, these types of accounts, have deposit insurance associated with them through the FDIC-insured banks.

If you’ll advance to the next slide, please, Jean. Our third unit, and Katrina’s Classroom addresses the issues around the importance of good credit. So why is it important to maintain good credit? And it really addresses how we all handle our finances affects more than just our ability to borrow.

And so it asks the question, “What is good credit?” Why it’s important to maintain a good credit history, how that is so critical to our overall financial stability, why it’s important to pay our credit obligations on time and establish a relationship with a financial institution, and then really driving home the point that each year we should all access our free credit report at

The Infographic then identifies what a good credit history says about you, how it actually—by paying on time, it can lead to you being more readily approved for credit and offered lower interest rates versus someone who has a poor credit history. Then the Infographic identifies the difference between a credit report and a credit score and how they are not the same. At the bottom of the Infographic, we have shared a sample interest and payment for a $20,000 car loan that’s paid over 60 months.

And what we’ve done is we’ve identified three credit score ranges—a low end, a midrange, and a high range and the interest rate that would be associated with that for that $20,000 car loan paid over 60 months, what the breakdown of the monthly payment would be, and the overall total interest that would be paid based on your credit score that’s associated with that. And all of that information can be found at the site.

So if you’d please advance to the next slide, Jean. Our fourth unit, we ask the essential question of why it’s important to develop human capital, and then we—it kind of addresses on the Infographic in what can one expect with less than a high school diploma. And the overarching theme is the relationship between educational attainment and levels of unemployment and median weekly earnings. So we address, you know, “What is human capital?” And then we have a visual that says, “How long does it take to earn a million?”

And if indeed we take a median weekly earnings relative to educational attainment and you do a calculation, you can actually address how many years will it take someone for instance with a bachelor’s degree based on those median weekly earnings to earn a million dollars.

And that, based on the 2014 data, is 17-and-a-half years versus someone with a high school diploma, which is 28.7 years. We then share that very powerful graphic that’s based off of the current population survey, and you can find it at the BLS site that again shows the relationship between educational attainment and unemployment rates and median weekly earnings.

If you’ll advance the slide, Jean, please. So if you are interested in ordering a poster or a set of these posters, you can find the order form there, this URL. You can go to Under our education tab you can actually find the listing of all of our Infographics, and on those pages you’ll find the link to the order form.

And, actually, if you are interested in ordering a bulk order—if you’ll advance, Jean, to the last slide—if you were to contact me—and that’s my email address,—I would be happy to send bulk order. And by that I mean, you know, 20, 25, 100. If you were to want to share this with teachers in your system or if you’re going to be doing some kind of training and you would like everybody to have a poster, just feel free to reach out, and we’ll get those shipped out to you. And at this point I’m happy to take questions.

Jean Roark: All right, thanks so much for that, Amy. And I will remind our participants, you can select that “ask question” button, type your question right in, and we’ll get them queued up for all of our presenters. But I’ll start with the question that just came in. I’ll assume it’s for you, Amy. It is, “When will the new ones be released?”

Amy Hennessy: So the designers have promised that we will have them delivered to our fulfillment center from the printer by the second week of June. So if you’ll check the third week of June, I would imagine we’ll be ready to start shipping those out.

Jean Roark: Okay, thanks so much for that. All right.

Amy Hennessy: Sure thing.

Jean Roark: I am refreshing our inbox to see if anyone is typing their question in right now. I don’t see any new questions. But how about we just take a pause for closing remarks? Andrew, if you have any closing remarks, now is your time.

Andrew Hill: I wanted to thank everyone for participating in today’s ECONnections webinar. I wanted to let you know about the upcoming date for our next one. September 27 we’re going to be doing another ECONnections webinar. It will be about economics and history, teaching those two concepts together, or those two areas together. So we hope you’ll join us for that.

You can always contact us and find our resources through So if you haven’t had a chance to visit recently, go out and check it out. It’s a portal to all of our economic education resources in the Federal Reserve System. So thank you very much for participating. Thank you, Jean. And we’re going to sign off right now and say goodbye. So thank you very much for participating.

Jean Roark: Actually, if I can just add one more thing, Andrew. I just pushed out a survey to our participants, so we’d love to hear from you. I’ll also be sending that survey via email, so you only need to fill that out once. And I will officially close our session. Thanks for joining us, and have a great rest of your day.



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Audience:   High School
Language:   English
Subjects:   Personal Finance
Resource Types:   Webinar