“Mad About Money II: Pay Yourself First” returned to Iowa middle schools beginning Feb. 3 to help students and their families create effective, life-long personal money habits. Sponsored by the Iowa Insurance Division, the multimedia educational program is provided at no cost to participating schools. The entertaining and inspiring program — featuring live, educational theatre performances by professional actors — also includes print and Internet curriculum for use in the classroom and at home. The winter portion of the tour will travel to schools in counties throughout the state including Appanoose and Wayne counties.
All the characters in “Mad About Money II: Pay Yourself First” are play by two experienced improvisational actors who play eight different characters in the 40-minute program that’s performed for the entire school. Students learn important lessons about their money management and buying habits through four comical and informative sketches, including:
n Wages minus deductions equals take-home pay
n Saving and investing always have some risk involved
n Don’t let advertisers make your decisions for you
n What is “opportunity cost?”
The program is produced by The National Theatre for Children and while performances and educational content are completely scripted, the shows themselves are built to incorporate moments of improvisation. At the beginning of each scene, actors solicit information from the audience that is then humorously integrated into the show.
“Using humor to illustrate a particular point about money management is really powerful with this age group,” says Craig Goettsch of the Iowa Insurance Division. “That’s why we keep bringing these NTC programs back year after year. It’s never too soon to begin good money habits, and we want to expose these ideas to as many Iowa students as possible.”
The Iowa Insurance Division’s mission is to protect consumers through consumer education and by effectively and efficiently providing a fair, flexible and positive regulatory environment. This financial education program is funded not from tax revenues, but rather from investor education fund created with settlements between regulators and large brokerages houses, as well as a part of license fees for securities agents. Additionally, the IID supervises all insurance business transacted in the state. The insurance commissioner grants permission to companies wishing to sell insurance in Iowa and has general control over all aspects of their business, from the forms they use to the rates they charge. The commissioner also serves as the administrator of the securities act which involves the licensing of brokerage firms and their agents, examining new securities offerings and investigating investment fraud cases: www.iid.state.ia.us.