Category Archives: Money Smart Week

Shelby County State Bank participates in Teach Children to Save Day and Money Smart Week

Last week, April 21-28, was a busy week for financial education at Shelby County State Bank. Bank employees gave a savings lesson to approximately 175 second grade students from Harlan Community Elementary, Shelby County Catholic and AHST Elementary Schools as part of National Teach Children to Save (TCTS) Day on April 24.

Presentations included games and activities about the concept of saving, how interest makes money grow and determining needs and wants. Shelby County State Bank employees Stef Kramer and Jim Zimmerman conducted a financial quiz game with second grade students from Shelby County Catholic School.

“We have participated in Teach Children to Save Day for about 10 years,” says Janet Buman marketing officer at Shelby County State Bank. “The kids are always so enthusiastic, so it makes it easy to enter the classrooms every year.”

Shelby County State Bank also helped establish Money Smart Week (MSW) in Harlan and the surrounding area in 2011, bringing free financial education events and classes to the community. This year, MSW has grown substantially by adding poster and essay contests as well as more contributing partners.

“What is so great about Money Smart Week is that it brings organizations together – all differences aside – for a single cause, to teach the public about money management,” says Buman. “It is really a joint effort between all the organizations. We couldn’t have reached so many people without their participation.”

Shelby County State Bank, along with several other participating organizations, held more than 40 financial education events throughout MSW. Events included hosting shred days and holding classes about financial budgeting, investing, farm succession, funeral planning and much more.

Also as a part of MSW, Ben Franklin – the founding father who said, “A penny saved is a penny earned” – made a special appearance on April 25 at Harlan Community Elementary and Shelby County Catholic Schools to remind students about the importance of saving. [Click here to read more about the event.]

“Participating in Money Smart Week blended in nicely with what [Shelby County State Bank] does for Teach Children to Save Day,” says Buman. “We will definitely plan on participating in both events in 2013.”

The 2012 Money Smart Kid is…..

Sam Jones, an eighth grader at Clear Lake Middle School, has won a statewide financial literacy essay contest and has been named Iowa’s 2012 Money Smart Kid.

Jones was recognized today, Apr. 20, at a Money Smart Week (MSW) kickoff event at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s West Des Moines office and was asked to read his essay.

At the event, John Sorensen, president and CEO of the Iowa Bankers Association (IBA), and Marybeth Foster, executive director of the Iowa Credit Union Foundation (ICUF), presented Jones with an award honoring this accomplishment. Jones also received a $1,000 College Savings Iowa account, co-sponsored by the IBA and ICUF.

More than 140 students from across the state participated in the essay contest. To be eligible, students had to be in grades sixth through eighth and submit a 300-word essay. The essay had to describe when it is wise to borrow money and when it is not, the factors to consider when considering a loan and the concept of opportunity costs. The top six essay finalists also had to participate in an interview with contest judges. From those finalists, Sam Jones was selected to be the 2012 Money Smart Kid.

Jones is the son of Darron and Julie Jones and the grandson of Gary Hughes, former president and CEO of Iowa Trust & Savings Bank in Emmetsburg. Hughes has served on the IBA board, was inducted into the IBA 50-Year Banker program and is currently a board member at Iowa Trust & Savings Bank.

“My grandpa really taught my mom [about saving and spending]. So my mom took me to the bank quite a bit when I was little, and I started a savings account,” said Jones in his interview when ask about who taught him about saving and spending money. Also during his interview, Jones shared his advice on saving. He is saving for college, and saves 50 percent of what he earns from after-school jobs.

As Iowa’s 2012 Money Smart Kid, Jones will serve as a spokesperson promoting financial education during MSW, April 21-28, in communities across the state.

Thank you to all the Iowa banks that promoted the Money Smart Kid essay contest and that will be providing free events in their communities during MSW.

Get your staff energized for Money Smart Week and Teach Children to Save Day

Money Smart Week (MSW), April 21-28, and Teach Children to Save (TCTS) Day, April 24, is a little more than a week away. Is your bank participating? If so, your staff is hard at work preparing to reach out to the community to teach financial education. MSW and TCTS Day are not only a great time to reach out to the public, but also to motivate and recognize your staff.  Here are some ideas to reach out to your staff and get them excited about financial education.

Create a suggestion box
Have your staff give suggestions about new or fun ways your bank can reach out to community.  Pick your favorite suggestions and put them to action. You can even make a contest out of it. For example: The winning suggestions could get to wear jeans for a week – something small that shows your appreciation.

Teach your staff about financial education
During MSW and TCTS Day, the main focus is reaching out to customers or schools to teach financial education, but what about your own staff?  Do they know about all the different saving and investing tools your bank provides to them? Are they using all the tools to the fullest capability? Now is the perfect time to teach your staff. Also, tell your staff about the many free events held throughout MSW like the Money Smart Investors Conference on Apr. 21, where they could learn about couponing, investing and more.

Get their families involved
Have a poster parade for your staff and their kids. Your staff is probably instilling the same financial values they learned as a banker into their children.  Ask your staff to have their children draw a poster showing what their parent does as a banker and what they have learned from their parent about money. The posters will be great to display at your bank during MSW and TCTS Day.

Make sure to give recognition
Teaching financial education is rewarding in itself, but it’s always nice to give recognition to those bankers who deserve it.  Here are a couple of ways to show your appreciation:

  • Take a photo of your staff during their event, class or lesson plan and post it on an internal newsletter. Throughout the week, feature a staff member teaching financial education.  If you don’t have an internal newsletter, put together an email with all the financial education pictures and events that took place during MSW and TCTS Day and send it to all your staff. 
  • Have the bank CEO sign a written letter thanking the participating staff for their efforts.

Help find the 2012 Money Smart Kid

This year’s Money Smart Kid (MSK) Essay Contest has just opened to the public. Students in grades sixth through eighth have a chance to win the title of MSK of the year, which comes with a $1,000 College Savings Iowa account that can be used at any accredited institution of higher learning in the U.S. The MSK Essay Contest is sponsored by the Iowa Bankers Association and the Iowa Credit Union Foundation in conjunction with Money Smart Week (MSW). 

Students are asked to answer the following questions in 300 words or less:
Give an example of when it is wise to borrow money and when it is not.  What factors must you consider to make a responsible choice? Please discuss the concepts of decision making and opportunity costs.

The MSK will be asked to read his or her essay at the MSW kick-off events and will serve as an ambassador during MSW, April 21-28. Candidates must be able to “think on their feet” when responding to questions from business leaders and media and be articulate when speaking in front of large groups and cameras. 

The deadline to submit an essay is April 2. For more details and guidelines, read the MSW Essay Form.

Help  find the 2012 MSK by using the ad material below to market the contest to your bank’s customers. 

For more information about the MSK and MSW, go

Call for 2012 Money Smart Week partners

Iowa’s Money Smart Week (MSW) 2012 will be held April 21-28. This economic outreach program was brought to Iowa by the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. For MSW 2012, over 140 MSW partners have committed to sponsoring or providing free events and classes to teach consumers how to become financially savvy. Partners have the opportunity to: 

  • Invite” Ben Franklin” to visit elementary schools
  • Host a local “shred” day and display real shredded money
  • Award prizes for the “Great Piggy Bank Savers” pageant
  • Attend an investing conference or kickoff event
  • Display posters from local contestants in 2nd-6th grade
  • Promote the essay contest to find Iowa’s Money Smart Kid
  • Receive free MSW Be Money Smart comic books, newspaper tabs, and bookmarks to distribute in your community

The 2012 MSW planning team will convene on Dec. 6 at the Federal Reserve Office in West Des Moines at 2:30 pm.   Your bank is invited to become a partner and attend this meeting. At the meeting, partners will be given the opportunity to join a committee.

The MSW committees, coordinated by Joanne Kuster an Iowa entrepreneur, author and president of Kuster Ltd., will focus on five key areas: media and promotion, MSW kickoff event, special events, distribution and youth outreach.               

In 2011, MSW partners were able to reach over 7,300 people through 142 events held throughout Iowa. Join the effort to build a sound financial future by educating today’s youth and partnering with Chicago Fed’s MSW Iowa team.  If your bank is interested in becoming a partner, contact Joanne Kuster at

Click here for more information about Money Smart Week Iowa.

Money Smart Week Leadership Conference

For the first year ever, the Federal Reserve of Chicago held a Money Smart Week (MSW) Leadership Conference at the Federal Reserve building in Chicago, Sept. 7-9. Over 110 key MSW leaders and chairpersons from twelve states came together to share their best practices for this national effort to increase financial literacy.

As MSW celebrates its 10th anniversary in Chicago, the Federal Reserve will begin working with the states to collaborate consistent branding of MSW nationwide. MSW throughout the U.S. will be held on the last full week of April and all MSW websites can be accessed through Chicago Fed’s website.

Terry Savage, author and financial columnist, and Joshua Wright, acting director for financial access at the U.S. Department of the Treasure, were keynotes speakers at the event. Savage addressed the issues in today’s economy and expressed the need for financial educators.  Wright spoke about the national strategy drafted by the U.S. Treasury and updates to present initiatives including the President’s Council on Financial Literacy, Financial Literacy Educator’s Coalition and the newly created Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

A panel of MSW chairs from Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Texas and Colorado shared their most effective campaign strategies and events. Some unique ideas shared were giving continuing education credits for lectures to attract more partners, marketing on children’s menus at restaurants, flash mobs and much more. To see Colorado’s flash mob for MSW click here.

April 21-28, 2012, will be the 6th anniversary for MSW Iowa. Get your bank involved in this nationwide effort by joining the MSW committee.  To join the committee or for more information about MSW Iowa go to