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Sept. 28, 2017

Collaborating to Better Serve Disadvantaged Students

By Angie Collier

The Economic Education group recently hosted its fourth annual Joint Council on Economic Education meeting to bring together leaders of economic and financial education organizations in our District — from Maryland to South Carolina.

“Our goal is to talk about a range of issues related to the work we all do, build our collective expertise and explore opportunities to collaborate,” said Nick Haltom, director of Economic Education.  

A primary focus of each Joint Council meeting is to build the skills and knowledge of the Joint Council members to help each organization accomplish its goals. The September 20 meeting focused on how to more effectively serve disadvantaged students.

Leslie Jones from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau spoke on the building blocks of financial capability, including how, when and where youth acquire critical abilities that support financial well-being. She noted that developing certain skills, such as executive function needed for planning, is critical in early childhood, while financial research skills are important for middle and high schoolers as they near major financial decisions.

Attendees listened as Molly Zielezinski described how to use technology to support student learning in the K–12 classroom. She encouraged attendees not to use technology for technology’s sake, but instead to integrate technology to promote higher order thinking where students themselves are content creators, such as through multimedia presentations.

Video is temporarily unavailable.

Joint Council meetings also provide an opportunity for leaders of organizations with a common purpose to discuss issues they are facing in their work. Our own Matt Martin, senior vice president and Charlotte regional executive, described key issues facing those experiencing intergenerational poverty during his presentation, and Sarah Turner,  professor of economics and education at the University of Virginia, presented research on factors affecting college choice for low-income, high-achieving students. 

The day concluded with back-to-back sessions in which attendees heard from a panel of community experts and then brainstormed future strategies for reaching disadvantaged youth.

“The community panel session was a great way to hear directly from various organizations serving disadvantaged youth,” said Monica McDearmon of the Virginia Bankers Association, “and it reinforced the importance of collaboration within our communities.”

If you would like to be included in future Joint Council meetings or have ideas for meeting topics, please email us at

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