IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  January 17, 2014
MEDIA CONTACT: Valerie Wickboldt
vwickboldt@jamesmadison.org
(850) 386-3131
Gov. Rick Scott and CFO Jeff Atwater Present Thrift Week Proclamation to JMI; Institute Prepares to Unveil New Civics and Economics Education Website
~ The James Madison Institute, under its new Center for American Ideals, releases a new set of Thrift Week infographics, hosts event for Tallahassee students focused on Ben Franklin’s “The Way to Wealth,” and celebrates distribution of JMI’s “All About the Benjamins” publication to thousands of students across Florida. ~

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – To work toward the goal of making the notable concepts of Thrift Week as well known among Florida’s youth as the lyrics of the chart-topping song “Thrift Shop,” The James Madison Institute’s (JMI) Center for American Ideals today revealed its plans for the weeklong celebration that kicks off today on Benjamin Franklin’s birthday, and ends Wed., Jan. 23, 2014.Yesterday in Orlando, JMI President Dr. Bob McClure met with Chief Financial Officer Jeff Atwater to receive a proclamation issued by Gov. Rick Scott and other Florida Cabinet members recognizing Thrift Week in 2014.  The Thrift Ethic – earn all you can; save all you can; give all you can – is a focus of Thrift Week and a mantra the Institute hopes Floridians of all ages will be encouraged to live by.“Being thrifty is a smart strategy to help reach your long-term economic goals,” said CFO Atwater. “The thrift mentality was once commonplace in American society and I encourage Floridians to get back to those principles which will ultimately provide more economic freedom.”To honor Ben Franklin’s birthday, JMI released two new infographics adding to the three released last year, which will highlight the thrift cycle and tips from Ben Franklin, America’s foremost proponent of thrift. All five infographics can be viewed at www.jamesmadison.org. JMI will also host a lunchtime discussion at its headquarters The Columns in downtown Tallahassee with students centered on Ben Franklin’s book “A Way to Wealth.”The following week, JMI will unveil the Preston A. Wells, Jr. Center for American Ideals website www.foramericanideals.org that will house the Center’s civics and economics curriculum, as well as engaging activities, including the infographics, booklets, quizzes and more, intended for students and instructors across Florida seeking supplemental educational tools in these two critical areas of focus.In partnership with the Tampa Bay Times News in Education (NIE) department, JMI will also distribute digital and print versions of “All About the Benjamins” to thousands of Florida students, pushing distribution totals well over 350,000 in three years, and will circulate the five-piece set of Thrift Ethic infographics to hundreds of Florida teachers for classroom display. Additionally, JMI will sponsor through the Times’ a Twitter-thon featuring new maxims on thrift written and tweeted by high school student journalists with the hashtags #JMI and #Thrift.“National attention continues to focus on issues concerning income inequality, student debt, and the growing number of youth lacking a sufficient knowledge of America’s founding principles and basic economic teachings,” said Dr. Bob McClure, JMI president and CEO. “Younger generations deserve to have the opportunity to understand the fundamental principles that lead to success in their personal and professional lives so they’ll be armed with the knowledge to make the best decisions now and later on in life.”In the fall of 2013, JMI launched the Preston A. Wells, Jr. Center for American Ideals to further its mission of reaching out to Florida’s young people with the time-honored virtues that help fuel the American dream. Housed at JMI, the Center regularly sponsors a bevy of special learning opportunities for high school students (including presentations by public officials, prominent scholars, and historical performers) and a number of programs for college students (including movie nights, book clubs, seminars, and internships), in addition to the online activities.“JMI’s Center for American Ideals strives to make a lasting, positive impact on Florida’s students through our many programs and coursework offerings,” said Bill Mattox, JMI resident fellow and director of the Center for American Ideals. “Thrift Week is one such event that captures much of our mission in message and we’re proud to help lead the rediscovering of the essential concept here in Florida.”For more information about the JMI Preston A. Wells, Jr. Center for American Ideals or The James Madison Institute visit www.foramericanideals.org and www.jamesmadison.org respectively.
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About The James Madison Institute: Founded in 1987, The James Madison Institute (JMI) is one of Florida’s oldest and largest nonpartisan, nonprofit research and educational organizations. JMI is dedicated to advancing such ideals as economic freedom, limited government, federalism, traditional values, the rule of law, and individual liberty coupled with individual responsibility. All JMI publications are available online at www.jamesmadison.org. For additional information please contact Valerie Wickboldt at 850.386.3131 x 628 or vwickboldt@jamesmadison.org. Twitter: @JmsMadisonInst; Facebook: facebook.com/JamesMadisonInstitute