Educators, business leaders and community partners will gather in Omaha on Friday, Oct. 25, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Nebraska Council on Economic Education.
Founded in 1963, the council is a non-profit organization whose mission is to enhance the economic and personal financial literacy of young people in Nebraska and western Iowa.
In honor of 50 years of promoting economic and personal finance education, the staff of the Nebraska Council on Economic Education along with supporters and funders will meet during the annual meeting of the Nebraska Economics and Business Association at the Omaha Branch of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Bank for a recognition luncheon and reception.
“This event will be a great opportunity to recognize those who have contributed to the Council's success in it's core mission of building better consumers, investors and productive workers through the fundamentals of economics and personal finance,” said Mark Winkler, executive director of the Nebraska Council on Economic Education and general director of budget services at Union Pacific.
The Nebraska Council on Economic Education is housed at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and features Centers for Economic Education at UNL, the University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO), University of Nebraska at Kearney (UNK), Wayne State College and Chadron State College.
The Council and Centers are affiliated with the Council for Economic Education in New York City.
“Economic education and financial literacy are vital to the education of the young people in the state of Nebraska,” said Harris Payne, social studies specialist for the Nebraska Department of Education. “Students need to know economics and financial literacy in order to make informed decisions that impact their lives and the policies that guide the nation. The Nebraska Council on Economics Education and the UNO Center for Economic Education has played a major role in the professional development of educators through conferences, workshops and institutes.”
Across the state, the five centers work with K-12 teachers to help them incorporate economics into mathematics, history, government, history, and business courses. Programs for teachers focus on economic content, teaching strategies and new curriculum materials.
Additionally Council and its networks of Centers helps link educators with business leaders to provide unique programs and resources that complement the skills, talents and needs of their communities.
Some of the on-going projects from the Nebraska Council on Economic Education include:
Banking in the School Program
Banking in the School is a program initiated by UNO in 2001 that teamed local banks and credit unions with Conestoga Magnet School in order to promote financial literacy. The partnership resulted in Nebraska’s first-ever in-school savings program and since that time, 19 other schools across Nebraska and Iowa have partnered with local financial institutions to create similar programs. Today, School banks exist in Omaha, Lincoln, Hebron, Fremont and in Council Bluffs and Treynor, Iowa.
The Nebraska Stock Market Game
The Nebraska Stock Market Game assists over 4,500 Nebraska students in learning about U.S. financial markets through 10 weeks of involvement in a stock market simulation. Students team up to grow an initial $100,000 investment into a top-performing portfolio, which encourages students to understand how worldwide events help shape the local, national and international economies as well as the role of financial institutions in the US economy. The winning teams in 2013 came from Blair High School, Scott Middle School in Lincoln and Kimball Elementary School.
EconChallenge and FinanceChallenge
The EconChallenge and FinanceChallenge programs are competitive, quiz bowl examinations where students from across Nebraska compete with peers from across the country to test their economic and financial literacy. A team of students from Johnson-Brock High School in Johnson, Neb. were the most recent winners of the FinanceChallenge and also participated in the National Personal Finance Competition during the spring semester 2013.
UNO’s Center for Economic Education is jointly supported by the UNO College of Business Administration and UNO College of Education with a mission to improve the economic literacy of current and future Nebraska and Western Iowa citizens by providing educational and training programs and materials for teachers of K-12 classes. The UNO Center for Economic Education has won a number of awards for its efforts, including the 2011 Outstanding Community Education Leadership Award from Phi Delta Kappa, the 2009 Nebraska Career Development Award, the University of Nebraska Regents Kudos Award in 2004, the National Council on Economic Education Albert Beekhuis Award in 2004 and national Leavey Freedom Foundation Award, also in 2004.
For more information on UNO’s Center for Economic Education, contact UNO University Communications at 402.554.2129 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the Nebraska Council for Economic Education, please contact Jennifer Davidson, director of programs and community development, at 402.472.2333 or by email at email@example.com.
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The University of Nebraska at Omaha (UNO) is Nebraska’s metropolitan university. The core values of the institution place students at the center of all that the university does; call for the campus to strive for academic excellence; and promote community engagement that transforms and improves urban, regional, national and global life. UNO, inaugurated in 1968, emerged from the Municipal University of Omaha, established in 1931, which grew out of the University of Omaha founded in 1908.