Friday, October 31, 2008
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Tackling financial literacy

'Financial Football' video game sent statewide to high schools

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[October 31, 2008]  SPRINGFIELD -- This fall, Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Chicago Bears quarterback Kyle Orton kicked off an effort to improve the money management skills of Illinois youths by distributing an educational DVD to every public high school in the state.

Giannoulias has mailed copies of "Financial Football" -- an interactive money management video game with an NFL theme -- to more than 650 public high schools in Illinois at no cost to the state. The game and four lesson plans are also available for free now at when you follow the "Financial Football" link.

"It doesn't matter if you are a professional athlete or a student with a part-time job, the same financial lessons apply. You need to live on a budget, manage your credit and save for the future," Giannoulias said. "We hope that providing money management lessons through football will help students learn important concepts like compound interest and annual percentage rates."

During a financial scrimmage in September at Kenwood High School on Chicago's South Side, Giannoulias announced alongside Bears quarterback Kyle Orton that he would supply schools with the financial literacy program.

"High school kids need to know how to make smart money management decisions before heading off to college or entering the work force," Orton said. "It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers and mentors within the community to give teenagers a strong background in personal finance."


Developed by Visa and distributed to high schools in 16 states, "Financial Football" combines the structure and rules of the NFL with financial education questions of varying difficulty. To score points, a team needs to answer a series of money management questions correctly. Wrong answers and penalties can cost a team yardage. The team with the highest point total after four quarters wins the game.

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"We need to find creative ways to get important lessons to our students," said Chicago Public Schools CEO Arne Duncan. "The ‘Financial Football' program does just that. The students get critical financial literacy information, and they have some fun along the way."

"Financial Football" is the second Web-based financial literacy resource provided by the state treasurer, joining "Tomorrow's Money." It provides information for college students, adults and seniors.

[Text from file received from Illinois State Treasurer's Office]


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