By Emma Crawford Kent
TUPELO – The Mississippi Council for Economic Education wants to talk dollars and cents with area teachers.
The group will host a three-day teacher training conference in Tupelo from June 20 to 22 at the BancorpSouth Arena and Conference Center to prepare teachers to teach personal finance and entrepreneurship in their classrooms.
MCEE is a statewide nonprofit organization based in Jackson and has held this conference in Tupelo before, most recently in 2014.
Selena Swartzfager, MCEE president, said she hopes to see at least 50 teachers attend the sessions.
Teachers who attend will learn how to teach personal finance and entrepreneurship to their students. They will also be given age-appropriate curriculum and materials to take back to their classrooms.
The workshops offered will be “Financial Fitness for Life” and “Entrepreneurship Primer.” Teachers must register for them separately. Registration costs $50 for “Financial Fitness” and $25 for “Entrepreneurship,” and teachers will receive a stipend for attending all sessions.
The conference is for kindergarten through 12th grade teachers.
Swartzfager said teaching financial literacy, especially in high school, contributes to public education’s common goal to create college and career ready students.
The Mississippi Department of Education’s statewide education standards are based on this goal, and Swartzfager wants the MCEE to play a role in that mission.
“The idea here is that the students receive an education that makes them college and career ready,” Swartzfager said. “What better way to do that than through personal finance and entrepreneurship lessons?”
According to Swartz-fager, only 17 states require high school students to take a course in personal finance, and Mississippi is not one of them.
Mississippi does require an economics course for graduation.
Swartzfager said even though some schools don’t require finance classes, the MCEE wants to give teachers tools to offer them anyway.
Even if they can’t offer full-on finance courses, Swartzfager said she hopes teachers will bring finance lessons into their classrooms regardless of what subject they teach.
“It doesn’t matter what a teacher teaches, they can incorporate financial literacy,” Swartzfager said.
Those interested in the workshops can visit www.mscee.org for more information.