Representatives of PBMares-Harrisonburg dropped by recently to present this big check, symbolic of grant support that we’ll be using to promote financial literacy in the Harrisonburg and Rockingham County Public Schools. From left are Kevin Humphries and Hillary Dorzweiler of PBMares, John Kruggel and Bill Wood from the YES team, and Mike Garber from PBMares. We’ll have more on the materials and the big rollout in the fall! This grant is part of #PBMaresCares, the CPA and consulting firm’s social responsibility initiative.

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.