NGPF Recognizes Outstanding Educators Dedicated to Building Financial Capability

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Jun 13, 2017
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Featured Teachers, Activity, Activities

As part of a Financial Literacy Month initiative, Next Gen Personal Finance (NGPF) partnered with DonorsChoose.org to bring engaging, easy-to-implement personal finance resources to classrooms across the nation (see links below for activities completed).

We would like to thank all of the educators who took part in this opportunity for bringing financial education to your students. As you can read here, these 1,200 educators delivered essential financial skills to over 26,000 students (in just 60 days). Thank you!

We intended to award additional DonorsChoose.org credit to ten teachers, but ultimately selected 25 teachers, whose responses to survey questions both inspired us and demonstrated the creative and engaging ways they are developing financial skills in classrooms across the country. These teachers will each receive $500 in additional DonorsChoose.org credits.

And the winners are…

Abigail Lindquist, Theodore High School (Theodore, AL)
NGPF Resource: Budgeting with Roommates
“This project really made the students think about life in their future. I loved that they had to work as a team to figure out different expenses and priorities…They started to logically think issues through together, and would then go back and rework things they thought were fine…I believe the best thing about this project was how much the students loved doing it! They had so much fun working together to figure things out, and they were learning life skills the entire time! Thank you for sharing this resource!”

Ashley Thigpen, Oak Hammock Middle School (Fort Myers, FL)
NGPF Resource: Fine Print: Reading Your Pay Stub
“Many students quickly realized that every dream they built with their checks was based upon gross pay and that they weren’t realistic… yet. Our conversations allowed the opportunity for motivating students who truly believe that their futures are not bright. They were telling each other that they needed to focus in school so that they can get a job paying more than $10 an hour because no one could live off of that net pay. Hearing them use the vocabulary and set goals for their future is a teacher’s dream. We completed this activity nearly three weeks ago and I still hear them discussing their potential net pays with their summer jobs. This lesson let me show students how important it is to be aware of their money and it allowed us to use higher order thinking within the class without making it seem forced.”

Dawn Medendorp, Mona Shores Middle School (Norton Shores, MI)
NGPF Resource: Data Crunch: Why Should You Invest When You Are Young?
“When discussing the decisions of the three investors, students made an audible gasp when they saw the massive difference between the people that invested young, as opposed to the one that waited until later in life. This chart provided me with the confidence to speak with understanding about the need to invest young, and allowed me to really instill this concept into my young adults.”

Elena Jones, Goddard Middle School (Littleton, CO)
NGPF Resource: Interactive: ROLEPLAY: Living Paycheck to Paycheck
“[The best aspect of this resource was] the high level of engagement to real life financials it offered all of my students. My class includes all levels of students ranging in ability from learning challenged to English language learners to high-level achievers. All of the students were highly engaged. Of course, they all wanted to “win” the challenge, but the engagement went beyond winning.”

Elizabeth Mundt, Whittier International Elementary (Minneapolis, MN)
NGPF Resource: Data Crunch: What Do College Grads Want in a Job?
“I adapted this activity to work in an elementary math class. Prior to this activity, I introduced different “levels” of higher education, including Associate’s degree, Bachelor’s degree, and Ph.D. We also briefly talked about how to apply for college, picking a major/minor, etc. This activity was the perfect addition to what we had already discussed because it answered the question of “WHY should I do go to college?”

Heather Hollands, Gwinn High School (Gwinn, MI)
NGPF Resource: Why Should You Invest When You Are Young?
“I teach in a Title One district categorized as highest poverty. All students receive free breakfast and lunch at school. Many of them do not have parents who talk to them about the power of saving. They were highly engaged, and not a single student asked, “Why are we learning this in English class?” In fact, the students just finished taking the English Language Arts portion of the MSTEP, our state standardized test, and they were asked to interpret graphs for that test. This fit right in with what they should be learning, and it opened their minds to the possibilities of saving.”

Jennaca Hollinger, Elizabeth Ustach Middle School (Modesto, CA)
NGPF Resource: Project: Budgeting With Roommates
“It was so great to see my students interact with each other over this resource. I could really see my students connect with the functional math concepts. I loved seeing the real-life situation click with them… Overall, this was a great way to expose my students with special needs to functional math skills that will be crucial for them after graduation.”

Jennifer Thomas, Fernley High School (Fernley, NV)
NGPF Resource: Data Crunch: What Do College Grads Want in a Job?
“We had a great discussion on how things other than salary can be a benefit in a job and how an employee’s quality of life goals can affect what type of job they work as well as what employer they work for. I will use this lesson as a jumping off point to explore careers with my students so they know what skills they need to enter their chosen career as well as what they can expect for benefits in their chosen career.”

Jessica Armstrong, Choctaw Middle School (Choctaw, OK)
NGPF Resource: Fine Print: Reading Your Pay Stub
“Many students did not realize that the gross pay was not theirs. Many tried to take off deductions to make their pay stretch but were unable to properly justify how removing the deduction would benefit them or their community. I enjoyed how this lesson was not only practical, but life lessons were also taken from this activity.”

Jonathan Houghton, Coppell High School (Coppell, TX)
NGPF Resource: Interactive: ROLEPLAY: Living Paycheck to Paycheck
“Many of my students used this time to bond with one another and converse about what they plan to do after High School. I heard students speaking of nursing, art school, firefighter, pediatrician, lawyer, mechanic, and even one wanting to be a zoologist. These conversations ultimately led to students pondering how they are going to be financially wise in order to reach their goals. Students would say “I’m okay with not owning a nice car until later in life” and other students would reinforce this and say “yeah I used to only think about driving a nice car, but I couldn’t even imagine the payments when rent is so expensive.”

Julie Tacy, Joseph W. Grier Academy (Charlotte, NC)
NGPF Resource: Project: Budgeting With Roommates
“The best part of this project was students realizing how expensive the world is around them and understanding the impact of even one purchase if you are on a tight budget.”

Karla Saylor, Mauston High School/Mauston Area School District (Mauston, WI)
NGPF Resource: Data Crunch: What Do College Grads Want in a Job?
“To our class of 30 students, it was a very interesting statistic that 62% of new college grads say a high salary is what appeals to them most. I was so proud to see that my students have internalized that having a high salary does not necessarily equate happiness.”

Margaret Brown, Aiken Middle School (Aiken, SC)
NGPF Resource: Fine Print: Reading Your Pay Stub
“The best aspect of this resource was the academic level of the resources. Middle school students at this age are very interested in finance and ‘pay’, your resources are very student friendly and interactive which ‘hooked’ and kept my student’s interest.”

Mircea Arsenie, Carl Schurz High School (Chicago, IL)
NGPF Resource: Case Study: How Do I Budget?
“I loved the practical, real-life applicability aspect of the activity and the relevance to the age bracket I chose to apply this with. The best part of the activity was when Raymond [a student], explained that he “had already wrestled” with this kind of situation and that he wishes he had done something like this earlier to prepare him to deal with his income budget earlier as a student now and as a college student next year.”

Natalie Nuzzo, IS 228 David A Boody (Brooklyn, NY)
NGPF Resource: Interactive: Living Paycheck to Paycheck
“The challenges were thought-provoking and allowed students to explore complex topics such as defining financial literacy. The students had a wonderful time relating the game to class status, race, and gender. We used the discussions our class had earlier in the year to apply the gender pay gap to the game and its real-life context.”

Rachel Balthrop, Cheatham County Central High School (Ashland City, TN)
NGPF Resource: Case Study: How Do I Budget?
“I loved this resource! It is such an applicable topic for high school students. Most of my students have not yet had a real job and their parents still provide most, if not all, of their necessities and “wants.” The mention of college living expenses in the very beginning lead to a very good discussion on how much money it actually takes to live on or off campus for a single year (not to mention for a full four years!).”

Rachel Vance, Fiske (Chicago, IL)
NGPF Resource: Data Crunch: What Do College Grads Want in a Job?
“[Students] love money, and I love that they get to discuss higher education. I also enjoy that we can have a conversation since some of the higher-order Depth of Knowledge questions allow for a variety of responses.”

Raven Reed, ACE TECH Charter High School (Chicago, IL)
NGPF Resource: Data Crunch: Why Should You Invest While You Are Young?
“I liked the real world examples that the students could relate to, during the lesson students wondered how they could accumulate $ 5000 so they too could invest. My female students also noted the fact that instead of being just male subjects in the example there were male and female subjects and the female student didn’t have the worst case. I have students who always look for biases.”

Sara Gillette, Neal Math and Science Academy (North Chicago, IL)
NGPF Resource: Data Crunch: What Do College Grads Want in a Job?
“I was able to use this activity to spark a discussion about the career paths available in music and the arts as well as the special financial considerations that freelancing artists have to look for in a job. We referred back to the graph in the activity several times to discuss how the students could use knowledge of the factors represented on the graph to make career choices within the arts and other areas.”

Stacie Gates, Eastern Wayne High School (Goldsboro, NC)
NGPF Resource: Interactive: ROLEPLAY: Living Paycheck to Paycheck
“I think that this activity worked well for me to be able to prepare my students for the outside life and get them thinking about what a college degree could mean to them, but also it helped me connect them to the poverty level that the Irish were living when Jonathan Swift wrote A Modest Proposal, thus expanding their understanding of the essay.”

Stephanie Stoker, Hauke Academic Alternative High School (Conroe, TX)
NGPF Resource: Interactive: ROLEPLAY: Living Paycheck to Paycheck
“My classes LOVED the game. Currently, we are discussing the global depression in World History. I decided to incorporate the Paycheck to Paycheck challenge when discussing budgeting concerns of 1932.”

Tony Babecka, Josiah Quincy Upper School (Boston, MA)
NGPF Resource: Data Crunch: Why Should You Invest While You Are Young?
“I talk to students all of the time about stocks and how things/products they use can drastically change when shareholders are involved. The most recent example I have used was the IPO for Snapchat (SNAP). It is a very popular application for this age group and it was great to finally have a lesson to connect the two.”

Tracey Thompson, KIPP Blytheville Collegiate High School (Blytheville, AR)
NGPF Resource: Activity: Unit Price
” I was surprised to discover that they [students] lacked the basic concepts of personal finance matters such as the difference between a credit card and a debit card, why insurance is necessary and how to budget. This particular lesson on figuring up the unit price of items was particularly useful, and they enjoyed the practical nature of figuring up prices on everyday items.”

Tracy Sayles, Wayne Preparatory School (Indianapolis IN)
NGPF Resource: Interactive: ROLEPLAY: Living Paycheck to Paycheck
“The level of student engagement was the best aspect of this resource. I teach challenging students in an alternative school and my students requested to run through the scenario multiple times. They were engaged, questioning, and learning new terms they had heard but were not sure what they meant.”

Victoria Cavanaugh, Christa McAuliffe Charter School (Framingham, MA)
NGPF Resource: Interactive: ROLEPLAY: Living Paycheck to Paycheck
“This was the FIRST time all year that EVERY SINGLE STUDENT was hooked for the full class, and then begged to keep playing. Students literally did not want to go home at the end of the day. So, THANK YOU for creating a math-related, thought-provoking, interactive resource that allows me to differentiate instruction (I adapted this for higher level students in algebra class as we talked about exponential versus linear functions in economics), that truly motivated my students at the end of a long school day.”

About the Author

Laura Matchett

After graduating with an education degree and spending 7 years in an elementary classroom, Laura made the switch to the non-profit world and loves interacting with students, educators and business professionals across the country. She is passionate about all students having access to high quality education and views personal finance education as one way to ‘level the playing field’. When Laura is not locating or creating high quality educational resources, you can find her mountain biking or searching for the best ramen in town!