FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 31, 2006
Visa USA, U.S. Representative Judy Biggert and NFL Star Quarterback Rex Grossman of the Chicago Bears Teach Chicago Area Students How to Tackle Their Financial Futures
Interactive "Financial Football" Game and Program Help Whitney M. Young and Carl Sandburg High School Students Cross Real-Life Money Goal Line
Chicago, IL – October 31, 2006 – Going on offense to advance financial literacy, today Visa USA, the NFL, PLAYERS INC and U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-13-IL) teamed up with Chicago Bears Quarterback Rex Grossman to engage students from two Chicago-area high schools in a different kind of football game - one that prepares them to become fiscally fit adults. Called "Financial Football," this animated, money management computer game is the centerpiece of a 17-city Visa/NFL initiative to promote youth financial literacy around the country.
"Managing money and finances is a vital life skill, and one that that is best taught, and learned, before high school graduation. It takes the combined efforts of parents, teachers, and mentors within the community to give young adults a strong background in personal financial management," said Rex Grossman to a room full of students and teachers at Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago. "Last season, I joined Visa in bringing this message to students at Hubbard High School in Chicago. Now, I have the chance to coach another game of ‘Financial Football’ and to tell these Whitney Young and Carl Sandburg High School students how imperative it will be for them to learn how to make good, informed money decisions as they plan for college and beyond."
Huddled in the Whitney Young High School Library, Grossman coached the "home team" comprised of Whitney Young students while Representative Biggert headed up the "visiting team" of students from Carl Sandburg High School, located in her congressional district. Together, the two engaged students in a game of "Financial Football." The content, developed with the cooperation of the NFL and its players, incorporates lessons taught through Practical Money Skills for Life, Visa’s free, award-winning money management program.
"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 questions correctly. Yet just like in the NFL, penalties can cost a team yardage. The team with the highest point total after four quarters wins the game.
"Progress in financial education is best accomplished when public sector, business and local school leaders find new ways to play on the same team," said Representative Biggert, a Co-founder and Co-chair of the House Financial and Economic Literacy Caucus who helped kick off this year’s Financial Football campaign in Washington, D.C. "The Visa-NFL Partnership is a great example of how we can get kids to focus on financial learning while having fun at the same time. The lessons taught through ‘Financial Football’ will help put students from Carl Sandburg, Whitney Young, and high schools across the country on the path to financial success."
Today’s event is the tenth stop of this educational campaign. Last year was the inaugural season for this national effort between Visa, the NFL and PLAYERS INC to get students engaged and excited about their financial futures. In addition to being a game, this year "Financial Football" is also part of a one week, five part financial literacy program designed for high school instruction.
"Equipping our nation’s youth with a roadmap to financial freedom and success really needs to be a cooperative effort between schools, the community and government," said Dr. Joyce Kenner, principal, Whitney Young High School. "By working together, we are preparing them to make wise financial decisions for a lifetime."
"Financial Football" is part of Practical Money Skills for Life (www.PracticalMoneySkills.com), a comprehensive financial literacy program - available in English, Spanish and Chinese – that teaches young adults personal finance skills.
"Visa is proud of its long standing commitment to financial education and greatly appreciates the assistance we received today from Representative Judy Biggert and Rex Grossman," said Rhonda Bentz, vice president, Visa USA. "We take great pride in our NFL sponsorship, which is enabling us to work with so many talented players to give students the tools, resources and encouragement they need to become more financially literate."
This free, educational resource provides teachers with lesson plans (kindergarten-college) mapped to their state education requirements. For students, there are interactive games and calculators designed to teach responsibility and important concepts such as earning, saving and budgeting money.
About Visa USA
Visa USA is the nation's leading payment brand and largest payment system, enabling banks to provide their consumers and business customers with a wide variety of payment alternatives tailored to meet their evolving needs. Visa USA is committed to increasing the choice, convenience, acceptance and security of Visa payments for all stakeholders in the payment system — members, cardholders and merchants. Through its 13,369 member financial institutions, more than 500 million Visa-branded cards have been issued to cardholders in the United States.
Worldwide, cardholders in more than 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume.
Worldwide, cardholders in more than 150 countries carry more than 1 billion Visa-branded cards, accounting for more than $3 trillion in annual transaction volume. VisaNet, Visa's global processing system and the world's largest financial network, processes transactions with unparalleled reliability.
Visa offers a trusted, reliable and convenient way to access and mobilize financial resources — anytime, anywhere, anyway.
For more information or to schedule an interview with a Visa USA spokesperson, please contact Maria Hatzikonstantinou (ext. 131) or Romney Willson (ext. 118) at (703) 683-5004.
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