Girls, who too-often struggle with personal finance and are wary of financial careers, will be getting a needed boost in their classrooms nationwide, thanks to a merger of two nonprofit financial education organizations: the Council for Economic Education (CEE) and Invest in Girls (IIG). The SeaChange-Lodestar Fund for Nonprofit Collaboration supported this effort.
By working together, the two organizations will expand their efforts with students and schools, community groups, corporations and foundations to provide and advocate for financial literacy programming.
“America’s schools spend billions of dollars helping children master reading and math, and then far too often send them out into the world lacking a basic skill to prosper in life: understanding personal finance,” said Nan J. Morrison, CEE president and CEO. “By merging our two strong programs, we will be able to have a broader impact on the futures of America’s young women.”
When it comes to personal finance, classroom teaching is often a missing ingredient; only one-third of the states require a personal finance class for graduation, according to CEE’s biennial Survey of the States, which monitors our country’s progress in this area.
“Girls especially need a safe environment for asking questions and taking chances in order to learn,” said Betsy Kelder, executive director of Invest in Girls. “With the merger, our programs will now touch the lives of even more girls and women, teaching them skills for good financial decision making and accelerating change in the landscape of America’s financial industry.”
Strong female role models in corporate board rooms and finance offices also are in short supply, Morrison and Kelder noted.
Together, CEE and IIG will continue and expand programs to develop generations of financially literate girls and change the way that girls interact with money. The merger allows CEE to provide additional tools to young women through its network of affiliated partners across the country. This includes IIG programs that bring women in finance to schools and girls on industry field trips to bolster students’ personal finance knowledge and encourage career paths. The programs are targeted to high school girls, opening to them a world of budgeting and credit, investments and savings, taxes and insurance.
“The fact that IIG was just for girls and taught by a woman made it a very comfortable learning environment for me,” said Keyona Duncan, who participated in an IIG program at a Boston-area high school. “The teachers and volunteers were role models to us.”
She went on to study business management and accounting in college.
“Learning about personal finance taught me to be more assertive. I no longer felt like I had to hold back as a female,” Duncan said. “My mom told me she learned about finances on her own—as an adult, the hard way.”
Knowledge of personal finance provides the tools for children to set goals and create lives around the horizon line of their choice. For 70 years, CEE has helped teachers bring personal finance to classrooms through free teacher professional development and classroom resources, online and offline, for all students in grades K through 12. CEE also runs the National Economics Challenge and National Personal Finance Challenge and is rolling out Family Financial Literacy nights across the country.
IIG’s main office will remain in Boston and operate as a program of New York City-based CEE. Staff from both organizations will continue in their current roles.
For more information about CEE or IIG programs, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Council for Economic Education:
The Council for Economic Education’s mission is to teach K-12 students about economics and personal finance so that they can make better decisions for themselves, their families and their communities. We carry out our mission by providing resources and training to K-12 educators and have done so for 70 years. Nearly 2/3 of the teachers CEE reaches in person are in low- and moderate-income schools.
About Invest in Girls:
Invest in Girls partners with corporations and finance industry volunteers to provide classroom workshops and role models, to open doors to girls in the form of industry trips, and to work tirelessly to support IIG’s mission: to ensure that all girls have access to a financial education and to cultivate a generation of financially literate girls. Information about IIG’s programs is available online here.