Green Bay, WI – April 11, 2012 – Tackling head on the issue of financial literacy improvement among Wisconsin teens, Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Greg Jennings joined US Congressman Sean Duffy, US Congressman Reid Ribble, Alejo Torres of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and Visa Inc. today. They announced a statewide effort to improve the money management skills of high school and middle school students. This free educational video game and classroom curriculum, called Financial Football, was developed by Visa Inc.
Rep. Ribble and Rep. Duffy, kicked off this financial literacy campaign today West High School in Green Bay with help from Jennings and Visa officials. Jennings shared his personal experiences on the importance of money management with students. Ribble, Duffy and Jennings then rolled up their sleeves and led student teams in a hard-fought, high energy game of Financial Football. Teams were chosen from two area high schools: the host, West High School and Merrill High School.
"We need to help Wisconsin's young people tackle the financial responsibilities that come with adulthood, whether it is living within a budget, avoiding too much debt or building credit," said Rep. Ribble, “this game presents important financial concepts in a way that's fun."
“Financial Football is a wonderful way to get students interested in personal finances and gives them a financial playbook they can use the rest of their lives,” said Rep. Duffy. “This is a valuable program and a great partnership between Wisconsin, Visa, and the NFL.”
This event is a precursor to 2012 Money Smart Week Wisconsin. Money Smart Week is an outreach program of the Federal Reserve Bank and is an effort to highlight financial education with a variety of opportunities offered by hundreds of business and community partners.
“Never has financial education been more important,” Alejo Torres of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago said. “Money Smart Week is an annual event, first held in Wisconsin in 2006, that truly makes a difference in the lives of consumers. Financial Football is precisely the type of educational program that helps make Money Smart Week a success.”
“Financial literacy is about giving people the tools they need to achieve the goals they have for themselves and their families,” said Peter Bildsten, Secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Financial institutions. “Learning about money should start at an early age because financial literacy is a fundamental life skill.”
The centerpiece of Visa’s nationwide educational initiative with the NFL and NFL PLAYERS, Financial Football helps students and adults tackle their financial futures. This free game is accompanied by a classroom curriculum and is available to every public middle and high school in the state of Wisconsin.
“Kids need to know how to make smart money management decisions early in life,” said Green Bay Wide Receiver Jennings. “It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers and mentors within the community to give teenagers a strong background in personal finance.”
Available online, at www.practicalmoneyskills.com/football, Financial Football puts students’ fiscal knowledge to the test in an online simulation game environment by combining the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty. Visa has also released the game as a free iPhone app on iTunes, along with an optimized HD iPad version.
“For over a decade, Visa has been committed to promoting financial literacy and we are proud to assist Rep. Duffy and Rep. Ribble in their efforts to strengthen financial education,” said Jason Alderman, Senior Director of Global Financial Education, Visa Inc.
This launch is part of a national educational campaign with Visa, the NFL and NFL PLAYERS, now in its seventh season. Since 2006, Visa has reached agreements with thirty-four states and the District of Columbia to distribute Financial Football to every high school and middle school in those states, including Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin.
Financial Football is part of Practical Money Skills for Life (www.practicalmoneyskills.com) a free, award-winning financial education program that reaches millions of people around the world each year. Launched in 1995, the program is now available in ten languages in thirty countries. At Practical Money Skills for Life, educators, parents and students can access free educational resources including personal finance articles, games, lesson plans, and more. Visa also runs What’s My Score (www.whatsmyscore.org), a leading higher education consumer awareness program.
About the Wisconsin Department of Financial Institutions
The Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy in collaboration with the Federal Reserve of Chicago provides Money Smart Week Wisconsin as a statewide initiative. Governor Scott Walker proclaimed April 21-28 as Money Smart Week Wisconsin. Governor Walker created the Governor’s Council on Financial Literacy on April 6, 2011, with the charge to measurably improve financial literacy in Wisconsin.
Department of Financial Institutions supports Money Smart Week Wisconsin through its Office of Financial Literacy (OFL) which led Wisconsin to be the first state in the nation to conduct a state-wide Money Smart Week campaign in 2006. Wisconsin’s last campaign in 2010 had 12,543 attendees. OFL promotes financial literacy as a life skill and provides information to the public on matters of personal finance and investor protection. OFL leads and originates initiatives on financial and economic literacy in order to expand opportunities and security to Wisconsin residents.
About Visa Inc.
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world’s most advanced processing networks-VisaNet-that is capable of handling more than 20,000 transaction messages a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa’s innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa/our_business.html.