Iowa Insurance Division Uses Theatre to Inspire Students to Create Good Money Habits Print
News Releases - Stage & Theatre
Written by Katie Miesen   
Monday, 21 October 2013 12:13
Making Financial Literacy Fun

Iowa Insurance Division Continues to Inspire Students to Create Good Money Habits

Minneapolis, MN (October 18, 2013) – For the seventh year in a row, the Iowa Insurance Division will sponsor a unique, theatre-based program for middle schools throughout the state that will entertain and educate tens of thousands of students on the ways they can create good personal money habits.  Mad About Money II: Pay Yourself First! opens on October 21 and will play to 100 Iowa middle schools at no cost to the individual schools.  It is an entertaining and inspiring program – featuring live, educational theatre performances by professional actors – that also includes print and Internet curriculum for use in the classroom and at home.

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:

  • Wages minus deductions equals take-home pay
  • Saving and investing always have some risk involved
  • Don’t let advertisers make your decisions for you
  • What is “opportunity cost?”

The program is produced by The National Theatre for Children (NTC), 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.”

But the financial education doesn’t stop with the end of the audience applause.  Following the performances, students return to their classrooms to complete print activities and digital classroom games that further reinforce the financial literacy concepts from the show. Combining live, educational theatre with interactive classroom activities and homework assignments enhances retention of the important lessons.  “Our goal is to help educate the future generation of earners, savers, spenders and investors,” continues Mr. Goettsch.  “That’s why we’re offering Mad About Money free-of-charge to the schools.  The smarter they are with their money today, the better off we’ll all be in the future.”

The Mad About Money program and format was the focus of a study conducted by financial literacy researcher Dr. Lewis Mandell.  His study provided empirical evidence that NTC-style productions—live educational theatre combined with print and classroom activities – positively influence student attitudes on personal finance.  For a copy of Dr. Mandell’s study, please contact NTC.

About the Iowa Insurance Division (IID)
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:
About The National Theatre for Children
NTC is the largest touring educational theatre company in the world. Since 1978, NTC has successfully tackled one important issue after another including: financial literacy, electrical safety, water conservation, health care, smoking prevention, recycling, wise energy use, renewable energy, nutrition, and bullying prevention, (to name a few). Our educational outreach programs are entirely underwritten by corporate, non-profit and governmental sponsors who want to be associated with delivering healthy-living messages to students and their families. NTC performs approximately 7,000 times a year throughout the country, actively engaging 2.8 million students and parents through its programming:

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