News | First Financial Education and Capability Award
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First Financial Education and Capability Award

May 5, 2014

New awards highlight financial education achievements of public school teachers and Community Champions statewide.

Annapolis, Maryland.  The nonprofit Maryland Creating Assets, Savings, and Hope (CASH) Campaign, Maryland Council on Economic Education (MCEE), and the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE) are pleased to announce the first-ever winners of the Financial Education and Capability Awards. Awards were given out during the public meeting of the Financial Education and Capability Commission on May 2nd at 10am at the Maryland Department of Housing and Community Development in Crownsville, Maryland. Photographs available online.

The Financial Education and Capability Awards Program highlights the dedication and success of public school teachers and community champions who deliver financial education. Financial education focuses on a range of financial management concepts and behaviors including budgeting, careers and income, credit, savings, financial decision-making, and understanding values and habits about money.

2014 Financial Education and Capability Award Winners:

  • Jodi Gowans, 4th Grade Teacher, Patterson Park Public Charter School (Baltimore City) for the Elementary School Teacher Award
  • Jason Peinert, Social Studies Teacher, Northeast Middle School (Baltimore City) for the Middle School Teacher Award
  • Lisa Bender, Financial Management and Marketing Teacher, Southern Garrett High School (Garrett County) for the High School Teacher Award
  • Michael Richardson, Vice President of Community Relations, Mid-Atlantic Federal Credit Union for the Community Champion Award

Robin McKinney, Director, Maryland CASH Campaign, stated, "The Maryland CASH Campaign, Maryland Council on Economic Education and MSDE thank OneMain Financial and The Woodside Foundation for their generous sponsorship of the $1,000 financial awards. Maryland CASH is proud to partner with MCEE and MSDE to offer the awards program."

OneMain Financial sponsored the Teacher Awards intended to recognize teachers in Maryland who exemplify excellence in financial education and who practice innovative strategies in the classroom. "This award is meant to recognize the contributions made by an individual who exemplifies excellence in financial education and who practices innovative strategies in the classroom. These first-time award winners went above and beyond the call of duty," saidSheldon Caplis of OneMain Financial.

Recognition of public school teachers is tied to the Maryland State Curriculum for Personal Financial Literacy Education, which was created under the leadership of the Maryland State Department of Education and mandated for implementation in local school systems beginning in September of 2011. Dr. Lillian Lowery, State Superintendent of Schools, commended the awards program by saying, "We are very proud to join our partners in recognizing the leaders and teachers in Maryland who are providing sound instruction in financial education to our students and the broader community. These are skills that will last for a lifetime."

The Woodside Foundation sponsored the Community Champion Award for those who have supported and championed adult financial education in their communities as volunteers, members of local advisory councils or program advisory committees, and/or the broader community. "To be successful long-term, financial capability education and outreach efforts need to take a dual-generation approach", said Meg Woodside, Trustee of the Woodside Foundation. "The Community Champion Award recognizes the work of committed individuals who have made significant and large-scale impact on building these skills in Maryland's adult populations."

The Financial Education and Capability Awards are part of many other activities designed to celebrate April as National Financial Education Month. The Financial Education and Capability Commission released a calendar of free, in-person financial education workshops and financial fitness fairs. Additionally, the Maryland Council on Economic Education and MSDE held a financial education month logo and slogan contest. The winning slogan was "Knowledge Pay$ Off," created by teacher Joann Best and her students at Severna Park High. "Maryland Council on Economic Education has promoted economic and financial education for over 60 years. The worth of the knowledge in financial education is invaluable for the future of today's students," said Mary Ann Hewitt, Executive Director of the Maryland Council on Economic Education.

About The Maryland CASH Campaign: The Maryland CASH Campaign promotes programs, products and policies that increase the financial security of low-to moderate-income individuals and families across Maryland. Maryland CASH advocates on behalf of these families, as well as provides financial education programs, such as the Maryland CASH Academy at http://www.mdcashacademy.org/. Their partner organizations provide free tax preparation, access to appropriate financial services and benefits screening.  For more information, contact Ms. Robin McKinney, Director of the Maryland CASH Campaign, at robin@mdcash.org or 443-692-9422.  www.mdcash.org

About the Maryland Council on Economic Education (MCEE): MCEE and their division the Maryland Coalition for Financial Literacy are spearheading the effort to eradicate both economic and financial illiteracy. MCEE's primary strategy is to work through the education system to increase the quantity and improve the quality of economic and financial instruction that is provided in Maryland's K-12 schools. For more information, contact Ms. Mary Ann Hewitt, Executive Director, at mhewitt@towson.edu or 410-704-2137. http://www.econed.org/

About the Maryland State Department of Education (MSDE):   The mission of MSDE is to provide leadership, support, and accountability for effective systems of public education, library services, and rehabilitation services.  For more information, contact William Reinhard, MSDE Media Relations, at 410-767-0486 or wreinhard@msde.state.md.us

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