A primary focus of America Saves week is for organizations to promote good savings behavior among individuals nationwide, and a large aspect of this promotion is building awareness and providing education. In order for individuals to increase savings and begin to build a strong financial foundation we must first provide them with access to reliable tools and resources and train the professionals who help to educate and mold their financial foundation.

This is why we feel it’s important to bring attention to two organizations who are leading the charge in the field of financial literacy and financial education and the tools and resources that they provide.

Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy

AFCPE is a longtime partner and Board Member of the Jump$tart Coalition. Jump$tart has helped build the framework for financial education and financial literacy. The organization focuses on effectively introducing strong financial principles to our youth, in order to prepare our children for a brighter financial future.

What makes Jump$tart unique is their ability to effectively bring together organizations from the business, financial, non-profit, association, academic, government and other sectors to collaboratively deliver one common mission – to educate and prepare our nation’s youth for life-long financial success. Jump$tart encourages inclusion and partnership to deliver more effective financial outreach and education.

Jump$tart was the original supporter of April as Financial Literacy Month and is entering its 7th year of hosting the National Educator Conference, which focuses on training, motivating and supporting classroom teachers.

One of the most valuable tools that Jump$tart offers is its online library of financial education resources, the Jump$tart Clearinghouse. The Clearinghouse is the nation’s most comprehensive collection of financial education resources suitable for students in pre-kindergarten through college. All materials listed in the Clearinghouse meet the National Standards of K-12 Personal Finance Education. The library is not only geared towards educators, but also parents, caregivers and anyone committed to financial smarts for students.

To learn more about Jump$tarts resources, visit http://www.jumpstart.org/resources.html.

NEFE (National Endowment for Financial Education)

NEFE is passionate about “serving the underserved,” and they have devoted themselves to the public good for more than a quarter-century. As a non-profit organization, NEFE provides financial education and information to people at all financial stages. They believe that more financially informed individuals are better able to take control of their circumstances, improve their quality of life and ensure a more stable future for themselves and their families. Most importantly, they believe this is true regardless of background or income level.

Not only does NEFE provide financial literacy resources at no cost to consumers, they are also leaders in financial literacy and behavioral research and engaged in national public policy efforts. This past year, AFCPE was proud to have NEFE’s Director of Education, Billy J. Hensley, Ph.D.serve as a keynote speaker at the 2014 AFCPE Research & Training Symposium. Dr. Hensley, who directs the grant-making, innovative thinking, research, college, and adult education programs for the foundation, spoke on the current state of financial education. The talk was centered on a NEFE research project titled “Examining Financial Education: How Literacy and Interventions Affect Financial Behaviors.”

NEFE provides a number of valuable tools and resources for consumers, educators and researchers. Some of our favorites include:

Smart About Money A user friendly website that provides consumers with a wide range of financial tools and topics that empower them to make educated financial decisions to reach their financial goals.

NEFE Research As an organization founded upon and rooted in research, AFCPE believes in the importance of research. Research is vital for shaping and informing the education and counseling that our professionals provide. NEFE helps provide funds to support financial education research efforts that directly inform the work of our field – providing needed and requested insight to both financial professionals and the public.

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