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This fall, tap Challenge Bowls to teach teens personal finance


This fall, consider partnering with Asset Builders of America to involve teens in a competitive quiz tournament focusing on personal finance. It's a great way of making financial education fun while helping students achieve state standards for personal financial literacy.


The Finance and Investment Challenge Bowl involves student teams in competitive tournaments that pose more than 300 quiz questions on issues including basic personal finance as well as investments, taxes, insurance, economics, technology, business and more. Each tournament begins at 8:30 a.m. and concludes at 2 p.m.


Students compete as part of regional championships at seven locations around the state, and then advance to statewide finals in May.

Online materials  help students prepare for competition, and pre- and post-tests benchmark students' achievement. Teachers find that the Challenge Bowl nicely reinforces the concepts they're teaching in the classroom, and then some.


Students from more than 50 Wisconsin high schools have participated. This map shows where those schools are.


A new round of competitions will begin this fall, with regional tournaments planned for 2013 in Wausau (Nov. 11), Racine/Kenosha (Dec. 3), Madison (Jan. 7). In early 2014, competition will continue in March in the Milwaukee and Appleton/Fox Cities area and April in Rhinelander and the Menominee Indian Reservation. The state championship tournament will take place in Milwaukee in May, 2014. 


Support and volunteers for the competitions has come from:


  • CoVantage Credit Union—Wausau, Rhinelander & Menominee Reservation


  • Summit and UW Credit Unions—Madison, Milwaukee and the State Championship


  • Capital, Fox Communities and Unison Credit Unions—Appleton and Capital for the State Championship


  • Ripco Credit Union—Rhinelander


  • Valley Communities Credit Union—Wausau


"The Challenge Bowl was a great experience," said Kelly Hladovcak, President/CEO of Valley Communities CU. "I was amazed how much knowledge the students gained. There was a little twist to the day when a Wausau team asked if they could play an extra game against another team at their school for 'bragging rights.' We accommodated their request. It was a blast."


"This has proven to be a very popular event that challenges students to study and learn about finance and economics," said Capital CU President Alan Zierler. "More than 87 percent of student polled said that they increased their knowledge of personal finance topics by taking part in it. The Challenge Bowl is a great investment in financial education."


Jaimes Johnson, Director of Community and Campus Relations for UW Credit Union, has volunteered for the event in both Milwaukee and Madison.

"I really enjoy seeing the result of the work that students put in to be able to compete in this challenging event," he said. "The teachers do a fantastic job motivating their teams and it is always great to see the support and acknowledgement that rival schools provide one another. It is an event that truly encourages increased financial literacy in a fun and competitive environment. I highly recommend it."

Volunteers from credit unions are always needed and welcome to participate. Credit unions with a high school branch—as well as those that partner in other ways with high schools—are encouraged to invite additional teens to form teams and compete. Students from grades 9-12 can participate.


For more information contact Richard Entenmann at (608) 663-6332 or

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