School Outreach Initiative

What is the School Outreach Initiative?

The School Outreach Initiative brings New York Fed staff into the classroom to give accessible and informative 45-minute presentations on topics such as the role of the Federal Reserve, monetary policy, and a history of the Federal Reserve System. It is designed to reach students in schools in the Federal Reserve's Second District that may benefit from resources to teach economic literacy, including Title I high schools and community colleges. The program aims to advance understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the Federal Reserve and help increase diversity in the fields of economics and finance.

Since it started in 2014, the New York Fed has reached over 2,400 students through the School Outreach Initiative and has encouraged many students to participate in other New York Fed educational programs.

Visits are free and can be scheduled Monday through Friday during the school year. Only schools in the Federal Reserve's Second District are eligible. Interested professors and teachers should request a visit.

Please note that this program is first-come, first-served on an on-going basis throughout the year Visits are not guaranteed, and are subject to availability.

Why participate in the School Outreach Initiative?

The School Outreach Initiative gives students an opportunity to learn directly from New York Fed staff in their classrooms. SOI program sessions encourage active dialogue between students and New York Fed employees, and help develop students' analytical and critical thinking. The program also serves to complement a school's social studies, civics, history, economics and/or business curriculum.

School Outreach Initiative Lesson Options

During each school visit, New York Fed staff present one of the following lessons:

Basic Introduction to the Federal Reserve

This 45-minute presentation teaches students the connection between money, the economy and the Federal Reserve, with a focus on how the Fed’s roles and responsibilities affect people's everyday lives. Topics covered include:

  • What is money?
  • Money and the economy
  • What is a central bank?
  • How the Federal Reserve promotes the effective operation of the U.S. economy

Advanced Introduction to the Federal Reserve

This 45-minute presentation details the structure of the Federal Reserve as a decentralized, central bank and its policy responsibilities. Topics covered include:

  • What is the Federal Reserve System?
  • What is the structure of the Federal Reserve System?
  • What is the Federal Reserve's role in the economy?

History of the Federal Reserve

This 45-60-minute presentation describes the evolution of the Federal Reserve's role as a central bank through different economic periods. Topics covered include:

  • The Creation of The Federal Reserve System, 1913
  • The Federal Reserve's response to the Great Depression, 1933
  • The Great Inflation, 1965-1982
  • The Great Moderation, 1986-2006
  • The Federal Reserve's response to the 2007-2008 financial crisis

Introduction to Monetary Policy

This 45-60-minute presentation explains how the economy's health is measured and the Fed's role in supporting its health, using analogies to explain everyday ideas and concepts. Topics covered include:

  • Key indicators used to study the economy, such as GDP, inflation and unemployment
  • How the Fed uses the federal funds rate to influence interest rates in the economy
  • Expansionary v. contractionary monetary policy
Request a school visit