A University of Wisconsin-Stout alumna who teaches family and consumer sciences in the Barron school district has received a governor's award for her work on financial literacy.
Sue Becker was one of seven individuals and 13 organizations cited Feb. 11 by the Governor's Council on Financial Literacy for helping promote personal finance know-how in Wisconsin. The recipients will be honored by Gov. Scott Walker in a ceremony Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the Capitol.
"The need for personal financial literacy has never been greater," Walker said. "These recipients are equipping Wisconsin citizens with an important life skill."
The 20 winners, chosen from 52 nominations, demonstrated innovation, measurable results, collaboration with community partners and worked with needs-based groups, the state said.
Becker has three degrees from UW-Stout, a bachelor's in home economics in business in 1988, a bachelor's in family and consumer sciences education in 2002 and a master's in family development and human studies in 2013.
She has taught at Riverview Middle School in Barron for 11 years. Financial literacy is one of the topics she teaches in grades five through eight.
Becker's fifth-graders learn how to make change and about the history of money in the U.S. and elsewhere. Sixth- and seventh-graders learn how to use checks and debit and credit cards, learn about identity theft and about saving money. Eighth-graders learn about entrepreneurship, including creating and marketing a product to other students. Eighth-graders also follow, or job-shadow, a community professional for a half-day.
Along with classroom activities, Becker coordinates the Kidz Credit Union, in partnership with WestConsin Credit Union, at the school. Students can start a savings account, make deposits weekly and earn interest throughout their middle school years.
"I include money in as many ways as I can at all grade levels. It's important to have students learn these life skills and see how they can apply to many areas of their lives," Becker said.
Becker also plans to open a school store, run by students, with the aid of a $1,000 grant the school recently received.
On Thursday, Feb. 20, Becker will be at UW-Stout with some of her students to take part in the Family, Career and Community Leaders of America Star regional conference at the Memorial Student Center.
For more information on UW-Stout's family and consumer sciences education undergraduate program, go to the website.###