(NASHVILLE, TN), June 22, 2012 — Senate Education Chairman Dolores Gresham (R-Somerville) lauded the success of Tennessee’s recent Summit on Financial Literacy organized by the state’s Financial Literacy Commission. Seventy elementary school teachers attended the day long summit at Legislative Plaza to learn ways to incorporate financial literacy skills into their lesson plans.
The commission was created under legislation sponsored by Gresham in 2010.
“This summit is exactly what we needed to push financial literacy education where it will make the most difference — in the lower grades,” said Senator Gresham. “It starts with teaching the teachers methods that enhance student learning. I am very pleased with the action taken by the Commission to advance financial literacy and am looking forward to seeing real results from their efforts in the future.”
Governor Bill Haslam, Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and Education Commissioner Kevin Huffman were among the featured speakers, along with subject matter experts who discussed ways teachers can bring concepts such as financial planning, saving and investing into their classrooms and use them in their personal lives. These professionals included representatives from the Tennessee Attorney General’s office, Tennessee Department of Financial Institutions, Tennessee Treasury Department, $mart Tennessee from the University of Memphis and the Tennessee Jump$tart Coalition.
Tennessee Treasurer David Lillard said, “The Commission organized this summit – which I expect to be the first of many – for a simple reason: It is important to begin financial literacy education while children are young. Studies have shown that while children are in elementary school, their minds are receptive to learning the concepts that will serve them well later in life. Teaching financial literacy skills in elementary school also provides a way to reach parents about the importance of saving for college and the opportunity to invest in Tennessee’s new 529 college savings plan that will be opened this fall.”
Participants at this month’s summit received certificates of completion from the Tennessee Center for Economic Education at the University of Memphis and some were eligible to earn continuing education credits as permitted by their school districts.
“I congratulate Treasurer Lillard and all of the Commission members who worked to make this event a success. Financial literacy can make a great difference in a child’s future and impacts our state’s success as well,” Gresham concluded.