The Explore More Discovery Museum’s Cash Flow exhibit has been dedicated! In this exhibit, kids use museum currency (green balls) to earn, save, invest, spend, and share.  Here is the museum’s description of the new exhibit. The green balls create motion and excitement as kids see the money flowing though the system. YES was a strong supporter of the project from the start, making a financial commitment and generating support from several community financial partners. In addition, YES connected Explore More with John Kruggel, whose local work in economic education is funded by YES as a sponsored program of James Madison University. John and the team at JMU’s Center for Economic Education provided expertise in content creation for the exhibit.

Lauren Shifflett, right, was congratulated by South River Elementary School Principal Ashley Houff upon finding out about her state award (authored jointly with Laura Sunder-Rao of Elkton Elementary School).

Three projects supported by Your Economic Success have swept the state awards for 2021! In competition sponsored by the Virginia Council on Economic Education, the state judging results were:

1st place: Lauren Shifflett and Laura Sunder-Rao, South River and Elkton Elementary Schools, “Building the Elkton Zoo: Establishing a Community of Learners from the Ground Up”

2nd place: Michelle Hunt and Maria Billings, Smithland Elementary School, “Selling Plants to Help the SPCA”

3rd place: Kate Hollenberg, Broadway High School, “Career and Budget Project”

State competition held by VCEE is funded by the Virginia Credit Union and the Virginia Housing Development Authority. The winners will be recognized at a December presentation in Richmond. Local awards recognition for these and other projects is set for October 11 at the regular meeting of the Harrisonburg Rotary Club.

“We have great teachers of economics in the Shenandoah Valley,” said John Kruggel, the YES-supported coordinator of local participation in the competition. Kruggel serves as associate director of the JMU Center for Economic Education, which conducts local teacher outreach as a sponsored program of YES.

The summer of 2021 was a great time for youth entrepreneurship in the local Boys & Girls Clubs. With support from YES, local programs ran mini-economies that taught lessons in economics and entrepreneurship. “The programs went great. In fact, the Teen Center ran a mini-economy several times because they enjoyed it so much,” reported Executive Director Sandra Quigg. Here are some pictures from the local clubs:

These entrepreneurs created a bingo enterprise.

Market day!

Open for business!

Here are Potato Bucks at the Simms Center — a youth-created currency.

Lauren Shifflett of Elkton Elementary School has won the John Morton Award for 2021 as the most outstanding elementary economic educator nationally. John Morton Awards are given annually by the Council for Economic Education in elementary, middle and high school categories.

As the winner, Lauren receives $1000 and will address her colleagues nationally on classroom technique at the “Award-Winning Teachers Share Best Practices” session of the Council’s annual convention on October 1.

The award honors consistent use of exemplary teaching techniques rather than any one project.

Members of the Harrisonburg Rotary Club will remember the day in 2019 when Lauren charmed everyone present with a description of her local grand prize-winning project, “Shifflett Superville: Soaring Together.” In that project first graders learned basic economic concepts by building a city and its market institutions with a superhero theme. Lauren addressed the club together with two of her superhero students, who were present with their masks and capes.

Lauren was nominated for the award by John Kruggel, who coordinates teacher outreach and training locally for Your Economic Success (YES).

YES promotes economic and financial literacy in the Shenandoah Valley.

YES’s teacher outreach is a sponsored program of the James Madison University Center for Economic Education, where Kruggel serves as Associate Director for Program.

2019 award winner