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Fulks Run Elementary School students, joined by Rotarian Gannon Irons, show off the books in the Reading Makes Cent$ collection.

Funding drive succeeds

Shenandoah Valley Economic Education (SVEE), our funding organization, teamed up with local Rotary clubs and donors to bolster the economics and personal finance collections of local elementary school libraries.

A funding appeal quickly succeeded in raising the money to provide the books to all of the twenty elementary schools in Harrisonburg and Rockingham County who will participate in the Reading Makes Cent$ program this school year. This will allow students and schools to take full advantage of the Reading Makes Cent$ program.

Reading Makes Cent$ is presented by Virginia529 College Savings Plan and the Virginia Council for Economic Education with input and support from the Virginia Association of School Librarians (VaASL). Through it, librarians can help K–5 students learn, understand and apply key SOL concepts such as saving and making good choices. The program also:

  • Rewards students for reading
  • Gives students the chance to win a $529 college savings account from Virginia529 College Savings Plan
  • Reminds students and their parents of the importance of saving for education after high school and ways to accomplish this

Details for the current school year including featured books, instructional materials, program applications, and the student Reading Challenge form may be found on the Reading Makes Cent$ Web site: http://www.readingmakescents.com/

SVEE’s initial offer was to provide $5,000 if that amount were matched by others. Area Rotary Clubs stepped up and presentations of the books to libraries began in January. Each donated book was labeled with a bookplate like the sample below:



Three-day economic institutes to be offered

This summer there’s a new format for the Economics Institute. This institute covers the economics half of the high school required class in personal finance and economics. Previously offered only in a six-day summer format, the institute has now been split into two three-day institutes in successive weeks. Participants receive recertification credit for taking either or both institutes.

Summer 2017 dates are July 10-11-12 and July 17-18-19. The first three-day institute, “The Economic Way of Thinking,” deals with the fundamentals of economic reasoning for the high school class. The second institute, “Economics and Public Policy,” concentrates on interactions between government and the economy.

The Virginia Council on Economic Education decided to try the split three-day format after hearing from potential participants interested in increased summer scheduling flexibility. Here are direct links to more information and registration:

GEM Fair imminent

The next GEM Fair presented by Union Bank & Trust has been set for March 8 at the JMU Festival Conference and Student Center. “GEM Fair” stands for “Global Entrepreneurship Marketplace Fair.” The GEM Fair features an opportunity for students from Mini-Economies across the region to meet in a simulated international economy. The day includes a Roll Call of the Mini-Economy nations, market session, and awards ceremony. For more information on the GEM Fair, contact Lynne Stover at (540) 568-3248 or send email.

Stover contributes two chapters

JMU’s Lynne Stover has contributed two chapters to a book coming out later this year, Notable Books: Notable Lessons: Putting Social Studies Back in the K-8 Curriculum (ABC-CLIO, Inc., 2017). The chapters are lessons based on award-winning books At the Same Moment, Around the World by Clotilde Perrin and Serafina’s Promise by Ann E. Burg.

The publisher’s website says this volume “offers the tools to teach students social studies concepts that are increasingly relevant and essential in today’s diverse, globalized world—lessons that are vital in order to prepare students to think critically and participate in our multicultural democracy.”

Coauthored Wood article published

JMU’s Dr. William C. Wood and two coauthors have published an article on charter school competition in Social Science Quarterly. The article, “Warding Off Competition: The Impact of School District Outreach on Charter Expansion in Arizona” documented the competition between public, private and charter schools in Arizona beginning in 1994. Wood’s coauthors were Dr. Scott Milliman of JMU and Dr. Robert Maranto of the University of Arkansas. The article concluded that traditional school districts are capable of slowing charter growth via competition-induced changes in outreach activities, but the effect occurs with a lag. The analysis suggests that charter entry also generates responses from private schools which slow charter growth.

Arizona has served as a laboratory of sorts for charter schools, in that it adopted charter school legislation much earlier than other states.

The JMU Center for Economic Education’s teacher outreach program is a sponsored program of Shenandoah Valley Economic Education, Inc., a nonprofit corporation that seeks to promote economic literacy and understanding of the free enterprise system in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia.

The JMU Center for Economic Education is an affiliate of the Virginia Council on Economic Education.

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