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EKU, Central Bank, Announce 2019 Learning for Life Teaching Award

Jeff Fultz, Jill VanDyke, Angela Vaughn, Tracy Hall, Jennifer Ochs, Cindy Harter

Central Bank and the Eastern Kentucky University Center for Economic Education are pleased to announce the winners of the fifth annual Learning for Life Teaching Awards: the second-grade team of Tracy Hall, Jennifer Ochs, Jill VanDyke, and Angela Vaughn from Daniel Boone Elementary School.  Central Bank and the EKU Center for Economic Education established this award to stimulate and recognize development and advancement in teaching decision making and problem solving with applications to personal finance, economics, and entrepreneurship. 

Poster of teaching conceptsThese teachers taught their students the meaning and value of coins and then created a behavior economy.  In this economy, students first compiled a wish list of items they wanted to earn which ranged from extra recess time to permission to bring a stuffed animal to school.  They were even offered an indoor snowball fight!  Students voted on what they wanted to earn, and the class determined how much money they needed to save in order to earn the reward.  Students learned and practiced addition and subtraction as they tracked their progress toward the goal.  They earned coins throughout the day – and throughout the school – by practicing good citizenship.  The staff throughout the school joined in the efforts to reward the students for their behavior, and the students were motivated to earn their rewards.  The teachers used literature books such as One Grain of Rice, The Emperor’s New Clothes, and If You Give a Mouse a Cookie to teach related economics concepts such as scarcity, bartering, and opportunity cost.  The students played games and created their own Citizenship Economy journal entries in their mathstudent depositing money into bank journals for their peers to solve.  Teachers showed that the students gained confidence in their math abilities, wereable to explain math strategies, and tackled multiple step problems with money.  The biggest growth was realized in students’ abilities to attempt and solve application problems.  Test results showed that more than twice as many students showed mastery of test concepts on the post-test as compared to the pretest, and the principal, cafeteria staff, and activity teachers all reported that they observed improvements in student citizenship!

The 2nd-grade students engaged in making decisions in a variety of areas during the Citizenship Economy unit.  The lessons learned will provide a sound foundation for their future decisions about real-world concerns.  Central Bank and the EKU Center for Economic Education are proud to honor these creative and dedicated educators with recognition and monetary awards to highlight their commitment to preparing Madison County students for life outside the classroom. 

students learning in gymnasiumFor more information about the Central Bank/EKU Learning for Life Teaching Award, contact at EKU’s College of Business and Technology or visit 

Pictured above from Left to Right: Jeff Fultz (President of Central Bank, Richmond), Jill VanDyke, Angela Vaughn, Tracy Hall, Jennifer Ochs, and Cynthia Harter (Director of EKU Center for Economic Education).

Published on May 20, 2019

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