Tennesseans Celebrate Music and Financial Literacy at the State Capitol
This week, over 100 state leaders from across the state gathered for a reception and dinner at the Tennessee State Capitol to celebrate financial literacy and the work of the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission (TNFLC). Governor Bill Haslam, Speaker Beth Harwell, Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris, legislators, business leaders and supporters of the Commission joined State Treasurer David H. Lillard, Jr., Chair of the TNFLC Board, for the event.
As guests celebrated the success of the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission and the impact in the lives of Tennesseans, they were treated to a special Songwriters’ Circle featuring Chuck Wicks, Richie McDonald, and Craig Campbell.
“This is one of my favorite nights of the year,” said Treasurer Lillard. “I look forward to the chance to tell what the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission is doing in the crusade to dramatically improve the financial literacy culture of Tennessee.”
Speaker Beth Harwell addressed the crowd saying, “I believe in the work of the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission and the impact it has and will continue to have on the future of Tennessee. I want to personally thank Treasurer Lillard and each and every one of you for supporting the Commission.”
Two special guests were honored for their commitment to improve the financial literacy culture in Tennessee. Commissioner Greg Gonzales of the Department of Financial Institutions received the 2017 Platinum Award. An ex-officio member of the Board of Directors for the TNFLC, Commissioner Gonzales was recognized as a faithful advocate for the Commission since its inception in 2010.
Director of Cannon County Schools Barbara Parker was awarded the 2017 Financial Literacy Leadership Award for her work in advancing financial literacy initiatives in Tennessee. Mrs. Parker developed a plan to utilize all of the financial literacy platforms provided by the Commission in a way that best served Cannon County students. She allowed the Commission to train the guidance counselors in her district to teach the Financial Fitness for Life® curriculum to all second, fifth, and eighth grade students. In addition, she had her counselors trained to utilize the Vault – Understanding Money online interactive platform.
“The Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission worked with us to develop a program that will best meet the needs of our region and the students in Cannon County,” said Parker. “By using our educators outside the classroom and the resources provided by the Commission, we have created something that will truly influence all children in my community.”
Cannon County is one of three school districts taking advantage of customizable programs this year designed to provide financial literacy education to students in whatever way best meets each districts’ specific needs. Other districts have trained teachers and librarians to incorporate financial literacy, capitalizing on resources already in place in their schools so the concepts can be more smoothly integrated and ingrained.
Senate Majority Leader Mark Norris joined in the presentation of the awards to Commissioner Gonzales and Mrs. Parker. “I’ve always supported the work of the Tennessee Financial Literacy Commission. It is a true joy to see the collaboration between the Commission and school districts across our state,” said Norris.
The Commission has successfully trained over 4,000 teachers in the Financial Fitness for Life® curriculum through school in-service trainings and Saturday Training Summits across the state.
In addition, the Commission has trained over 10,000 students in classrooms throughout the state, utilizing the Vault – Understanding Money online computer program by Everfi. The Vault program covers everything from goal setting to making a budget, delivering critical financial concepts in an engaging and fun way.