"Building Futures in Manitoba" Program Launched to Help Manitoba Students Succeed in the Global Economy

Manitoba Aiming for National Leadership in Financial Education and Literacy

WINNIPEG, March 5, 2014 /CNW/ - Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning Minister, the Honourable James Allum, joined representatives from the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education (CFEE) and Investors Group today to launch the Building Futures in Manitoba Program. The program, a partnership between the Manitoba government and CFEE, will better prepare Manitoba students to deal with the increasingly complex areas of economics and finance in today's global economy and help ready Manitoba youth to undertake their financial roles and decisions with confidence and competence.

The minister was joined by CFEE President and CEO Gary Rabbior and Investors Group President and CEO Murray Taylor to launch the "Building Futures Project" at a luncheon event at the Inn at the Forks in Winnipeg. Investors Group is providing the financial support for the project.

"CFEE approached Manitoba to take the lead on the Building Futures project because of our commitment to providing high quality economic and financial education to children and youth," said Minister Allum. "We're delighted to be part of this partnership that will result in new resources for students, professional development for teachers and a complement to our school curriculum that will reflect a rapidly changing marketplace."

Manitoba is the lead province to work with CFEE on Building Futures in Canada. The province of Saskatchewan is preparing for its participation and Alberta is considering joining the program. Discussions are now underway with British Columbia and the provinces in Atlantic Canada.

"Most students know they will have to deal with debit and credit cards, but may not have thought as much about bank loans, investments, mortgages, leases, taxes, etc.," said Investors Group President and CEO Mr. Taylor. "Ensuring students develop financial literacy will equip them with the knowledge and skills they need to be confident consumers who can build a successful future."

The Building Futures in Manitoba project helps teachers to integrate a basic economic and financial education into the grade 4-10 school curriculum.  Building Futures does not add any new learning outcomes to teacher's workload. Rather it links the targeted areas of learning to existing outcomes. Building Futures provides a website to support teachers - providing a Learning Framework, detailed Teaching Units, links to helpful resources and organizations, and much more. The website provides everything that teachers will require to integrate financial education into a range of subject areas over grades 4-10. The program is not compulsory. The goal is to encourage and support schools and teachers with implementation over the next 2-3 years with the objective that most or all schools will choose to participate by the end of that period. Workshops will be organized across the province to support awareness and implementation.

"CFEE is honoured to work with the Manitoba government and Investors Group in efforts to help Canadians build a successful future," said CFEE President Mr. Rabbior. "Our goal is to work with our partners to help prepare as many Canadians as possible to make sound economic and financial decisions. There is no more important place to start than with our youth in our schools where the priority is to prepare young people for the future."

CFEE has been working in collaboration with Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning, Manitoba educators, and Manitoba-based organizations to develop the program and the resources that support it. Information and resources that have been developed to support the program can be seen at www.buildingfuturesinmanitoba.com Work is currently underway with the French-language team to have all program elements available in both languages. Work is also underway to make adaptations to the resources for use in Aboriginal and First Nations communities. Program enhancements will be ongoing and additional resources will continuously be developed.

Working in collaboration with Manitoba Education and Advanced Learning, the Canadian Foundation for Economic Education will be leading the Building Futures Project. Activities will include continuous enhancement and expansion of resources and the support website, professional development opportunities for teachers including local workshops, and a conference for educators on financial literacy and education. The province has previously partnered with CFEE and Investors Group on the publication "Money and Youth: A Guide to Financial Literacy" - a basic learning tool for high school age students. Last year the province was able to provide a free copy of Money and Youth to all grade ten students in the province.

About CFEE:

CFEE is a federally chartered, non-profit, non-partisan organization, founded in 1974, that works to improve economic and financial literacy and enterprising capability. CFEE works collaboratively with ministries and departments of education along with school boards, schools, educators, and teacher associations. CFEE also engages in activities to support and assist newcomers and past immigrants to Canada, and the general public including print resources, videos, workshops, and online resources. Overall, CFEE aspires to help Canadians of all ages be better prepared to undertake their economic roles, responsibilities, and decisions with confidence and competence.

About Investors Group:

Investors Group, founded in 1926, is a national leader in delivering personalized financial solutions to Canadians through a network of approximately 4,600 Consultants located throughout Canada. In addition to an exclusive family of mutual funds and other investment vehicles, Investors Group offers a wide range of insurance, securities, mortgage and other financial services. Investors Group is a member of the IGM Financial Inc. (TSX: IGM) group of companies. IGM Financial is one of Canada's premier financial services companies with approximately $132 billion in total assets under management as of December 31, 2013.

SOURCE Investors Group Inc.

For further information:

Joseph Clark
Canadian Foundation for Economic Education
Office: (416) 968-2236
Direct: (905) 726-3438
Cell: (416) 893-8772
jclark@cfee.org 

Naline Rampersad
Press Secretary to the Minister of Education
(204) 945-1494
Naline.Rampersad@leg.gov.mb.ca 

Ron Arnst 
Investors Group 
(204) 956-3364 
ron.arnst@investorsgroup.com 

Lisa Bodnar or McKenna Wild
Environics Communications
416-969-2831/ 416-969-2774
lbodnar@environicspr.com or mwild@environicspr.com