As part of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta's effort to enhance understanding of the Federal Reserve and its mission, the New Orleans Branch of the Atlanta Fed has cultivated a 10-year partnership with the Mississippi Council on Economic Education. One of the significant products of this partnership is "Focus on the Economy," an annual conference that attracts teachers from throughout Mississippi for sessions about the Fed, the economy, personal finance, and related topics.
Conference format in its second year
The event—organized by the council, the Atlanta Fed's New Orleans Branch, and the St. Louis Fed's Memphis Branch—has blossomed over the past decade into a statewide, two-day conference. At the most recent event—in Tupelo, Mississippi, in late July—teachers chose from numerous sessions organized in distinct tracks for elementary, middle school, and high school teachers and presented by speakers from the Fed, academia, and business.
The conference typically draws more than 100 teachers and rotates locations across the state. So in certain years it will take place in the southern portion of Mississippi, which falls in the Atlanta Fed's district, and some years in the northern half of the state, which is part of the St. Louis Fed's district.
Several Fed staffers joined business and community leaders in Tupelo last month. Presenters included Claire Loup, senior economic and financial education specialist from New Orleans; Gloria Guzman, economic and financial education specialist from Miami; and Jeannette Bennett of the St. Louis Fed.
Teachers loved the conference
In addition to the live presentations, teachers received a trove of materials, including a thumb drive with more than 1,400 lessons.
"The teachers loved the conference," Loup said. "They could choose sessions that fit their needs, and they could attend one or both days and get continuing education credit."