October 12, 2010
Kansas City, KS – Tackling the problem of financial education among Kansas teenagers head-on, Kansas City Chiefs Matt Cassel, State Treasurer Dennis McKinney and Visa Inc. today announced the statewide rollout of an 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.
Treasurer McKinney kicked off this new financial education campaign today at Turner High School with help from Matt Cassel and Visa officials. Matt Cassel shared his personal experiences on the importance of money management with students from Turner High School. Treasurer McKinney and Matt Cassel then rolled up their sleeves and led student teams in a hard-fought, high energy game of Financial Football. Later in the day, Treasurer McKinney and Visa took the game on the road to showcase it at Hayden High School in Topeka.
"Financial Football is an interactive way to get students interested in personal finances and give them a financial playbook they can use the rest of their lives," said Treasurer McKinney. "This is a valuable program which promotes Kansas values of savings and responsible spending and is a great partnership between my office, Visa and the NFL."
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, newly reinvented game is accompanied by a classroom curriculum and is being distributed by Treasurer McKinney to every public middle and high school in Kansas.
"Kids need to know how to make smart money management decisions early in life," said Mr. Cassel. "It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers and mentors within the community to give teenagers a strong background in personal finance."
Youth financial education is a serious and growing issue. According to a survey by Visa Inc., 93% of Americans believe all high school students should be required to take a class in financial education.
Available online, at www.kansas.financialfootball.com, 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 also released the game as a free iPhone app on iTunes, along with an optimized HD iPad version.
The Kansas State Treaurer’s office offers programs to educate students in personal finances. The Money$mart program is designed for middle school students while the Tomorrows Money program assists high school and college students. We want to give students the personal financial skills that can help place them on the path to achieving their financial goals such as saving, investing, reducing debt or buying a house. kansasmoney.gov/ provides comprehensive, one-stop-shop browsing to help young people get a handle on their personal finances.
"For over a decade, Visa has been committed to promoting financial education and we are proud to assist Treasurer McKinney in his efforts to strengthen financial education throughout Kansas," said Nancy Panter, Manager of Global Public Relations, Visa Inc.
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. The website guides college students through the ABC’s of a FICO credit score, from factors that can lower a score to ways on improving it, at no charge.
This launch is part of a national educational campaign with Visa, the NFL and NFL PLAYERS, now in its sixth season. Since 2006, Visa has reached agreements with twenty-nine states to distribute "Financial Football" to every high school in those states, including Kansas. The other states are Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Texas, Vermont, West Virginia, Wisconsin. As part of this campaign, Kansas will also distribute the game to every middle school in the state.
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 10,000 transactions 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 www.corporate.visa.com .
About State Treasurer Dennis McKinney
Dennis McKinney took office as Kansas State Treasurer in January 2009. Under McKinney’s leadership, the State Treasurer’s Office has reduced expenses while setting records in returning unclaimed property to rightful owners, increasing participation in the state higher education savings plan and reforming its housing loan program to create jobs around the state. Responding to the state's budget crisis McKinney cut his own salary by 4% while the Treasurers team managed operations to not only absorb budget cuts but return over $65,000 to the State in fiscal year 2010.
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