Sponsored by:
Penn State University
Pennsylvania Department of Education

Financial Literacy and Economic Education Information for Pennsylvania Educators
December 2016
In This Issue
CFPBToolCFPB Releases New Personal Finance Pedagogy Teaching Tool
Professional Resource

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) recently released a research-based Personal Finance Pedagogy Teaching Tool. The pedagogy is designed to promote lifelong learning and financial skills development. It outlines strategies for instructing students of all ages with a broad range of skills, habits, and attitudes that appear to characterize financial capability. 

The personal finance pedagogy has four parts: 
  1. Improve executive functioning skills such as planning and problem solving
  2. Create and encourage positive financial habits and effective money management 
  3. Build financial research skills to compare and contrast options
  4. Provide safe opportunities for youth to practice financial decision making
Learn more in their recent blog post or watch the recorded webinar in which CFPB staff introduced the new tool. 

NEFEupdatedUpdated NEFE High School Financial Planning Program Materials

Are you using the High School Financial Planning Program (HSFPP) from the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE)? Their materials are updated on a regular basis, and revised materials are available for Spring 2017. 

Some HSFPP instructors have reported that they are still using the 2001 or 2006 HSFPP editions. If you are using the orange or blue big student book rather than the six smaller booklets please recycle your supply and order new materials. It's easy and FREE! NEFE covers all of the costs to print, ship, and deliver your materials. Just log in, place your order, schedule your delivery and the new booklets will be on their way.

If you haven't used the NEFE materials before, you can learn more about these free resources here. Or, order a free information kit.

OctoberJanuary Making Cents Webinar to Feature State and National Experts on Consumer Protection and Financial Education
Professional Development
Have you ever joined a Making Cents Webinar for Pennsylvania Teachers? If not, you are missing out! These free, 90-minute professional development opportunities offer information on financial topics, resources for teaching personal finance topics to students, and professional information for teachers. 

The January 31st webinars will feature nationally recognized experts in their fields. Over 200 educators enjoyed our fall webinars, make sure you register today to secure your spot! Sessions are offered at 3:00 pm and 6:30 pm. 

Topics and speakers include:
  • Financial Scams and How to Avoid Them presented by John Abel of the Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General
  • Identity Theft: Teaching Students to Be Cautious Consumers presented by Colleen Tressler of the Federal Trade Commission
  • Next Gen Personal Finance Program presented by Jessica Endlich of Next Gen Personal Finance
An archive of past sessions along with details on future sessions can be found at  http://www.makingcentspa.org/webinars.html. Or, subscribe to our YouTube channel.

  NextGenNext Gen Personal Finance Program
Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) believes that ALL young people deserve a free, high quality and engaging financial education. Founded in 2014 as a non-profit, thousands of teachers in all fifty states have made NGPF their "one-stop shop" for personal finance resources and professional development opportunities. 

What does NGPF offer educators?
  • Comprehensiveness: Seventy free lessons in 12 units with a modular structure that allows you to pick and choose the lesson you need when you need it. 
  • Curated Resources: Next Gen spends thousands of hours curating the best resources on the web, so you can leave those Google searches behind forever. Choose from over 300 videos in their Video Library, over 40 games in their Interactive Library and 50 graphs and tables in their Data Crunches. 
  • Current: Next Gen recognizes that the financial world is constantly changing, and regularly updates their curriculum so your students get the most up-to-date information. The NGPF Blog has two posts daily with ideas on how to incorporate current events into your classroom.
  • Customizable: Next Gen knows educators love tweaking lesson plans, so all of their resources are provided as Google docs so you can modify them to suit your needs. 
Jessica Endlich from Next Gen will give an overview of the Next Gen resources on the January 31st Making Cents webinars. Sign up here. Next Gen also offers a full suite of professional development offerings including in-person workshops, online webinars, and a "high-touch" professional learning community (PLC) model engaging educators who want to improve their craft. Finally, their weekly podcast features interviews with educators and content experts who provide insights that can be used in the classroom. Visit their website to learn more.

IDTheftFraud and ID Theft Season is Here - Stay Alert! 
Professional Information
Oddly, the December holidays and tax filing season have something in common. Both are times when scammers and fraudsters look for opportunities to make quick money at the expense of trusting and careless consumers. 
According to the 2016 Identity Fraud Study conducted by Javelin Strategy and Research, criminals lifted $15 billion from 13.1 million U.S. consumers in 2015. While the total amount stolen is down by $1 billion, the number of victims increased slightly from 12.7 million in 2014 to 13.1 million in 2015. 

Two notable changes occurred in 2015. First, criminals shifted focus from credit card fraud to opening new accounts, likely due to the introduction of the microchip on credit cards. Second, for the first time in 16 years identity theft complaints moved from first to second place due to the increased number of complaints related to unwanted debt collection calls made to mobile phones. 
To reduce the chance of becoming a statistic, stay alert and take the precautions below.
1. Do not give sensitive personal information (e.g. Social Security number, date of birth, credit card number or other financial numbers) over the phone to anyone who contacts you by phone, e-mail, or texting. With these data, a cybercriminal can have a field day pretending to be you and open new accounts. 
2. Donate to charities you know. If a new charity peeks your interest,  investigate the charity before you donate.
3. Never wire money out of the country. If you receive a notice of a vacationing family member who is stranded in another country or who has been jailed, chances are you are being scammed. Contact the person or someone who will know where they are before you open your wallet or purse.
4. Periodically check the  Federal Trade Commission's website for the latest scams or you can subscribe to receive alerts when a new scam hits the marketplace.
5. Check your credit history ( www.annualcreditreport.com)
with the three major credit reporting agencies to make sure your history is accurate and that there are no new accounts you did not open.
6. Remind teenagers to safeguard their personal information (e.g., driver's license number, Social Security Card, date of birth) and never post or use this information on social media. This is especially true for teens who are in foster care. Older teens in foster care should begin to check their credit history months in advance of becoming independent. There is a special system  case workers use to check foster teens' credit history. Minors cannot use  www.annualcreditreport.com. If a minor has a credit history, it is usually a red flag that their personal information has been misused. 
7. Victims of identity theft should report it to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). The IRS will issue them a 6-digit Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) to list on their tax return. This prevents anyone from filing a fraudulent return using their Social Security number.
Technology has made our lives easier and more complicated in ways we never imagined. Monetary transactions happen in seconds and data are transferred, stored and retrieved electronically just as fast. Once we press enter, the transaction or information sent is history. Stop and think before you act. Put on your shield of caution in the coming weeks and months to reduce the threat of becoming a fraud or identity theft victim.

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About this Message 

Making Cents is a cooperative effort by the Pennsylvania Department of Education and the Pennsylvania State University. If you find the content useful, please consider forwarding it to your colleagues. 

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Team Members:

Sally Flaherty, PDE

Cathy F. Bowen, PSU

Hilary Hunt, The Making Cents Project

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