Draft September 2016 Center Link


Free workshops set for fall

Fall workshops from the Center for Economic Education at JMU cover a wide variety of topics, from personal finance to economics in books that have been made into movies. Each workshop features materials and instruction that coordinate with the Virginia Standards of Learning. Registration is free and materials are free. When you participate, you receive a certificate with details of topics and hours for your recertification. For details and registration now: go straight to the workshop page.


Kohrs wins grand prize in local competition

Russell Kohrs

Russell Kohrs of the Massanutten Regional Governor’s School for Environmental Science and Technology has won the grand prize in the local economic education competition sponsored by the Harrisonburg Rotary Club and the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Chamber of Commerce. The winning entry was “Exploring Energy: An Economic and Environmental Exploration of Energy.” Kohrs used a project on residential solar energy along with classroom instruction to teach students important lessons on environmental principles and economic concepts.

Kohrs’ prize carries a $1,000 cash award.  All the local winners are to be recognized at a meeting of the Rotary Club on October 17.

The Massanutten Regional Governor’s School for Environmental Science and Technology is a joint project of local school systems hosted in Mt. Jackson by the Shenandoah County Schools.

The reserve grand prize in the competition was won by Lisa Long and Walt Williamson of Harrisonburg High School for “The Blue Streak Food Company.” Students worked through every stage of a meal delivery business for teachers, from recipe selection to delivery, in this high school special education project.

Other winners included:

  • First prize among elementary school projects, won by Virginia Munns of Smithland Elementary School for “Auction Antics,” in which kindergarten students exchanged pennies for items ranging from pets to privileges, learning about cost and choice in the process.
  • First place in the middle school division, won by Allen J. Ruliffson for “Diamonds are Forever,” a project in which the school’s entire seventh grade class studied the international market for diamonds, learning multiple lessons in the Rockingham County Modern World History and Geography standards.
  • Second place in the middle school division, won by Callie Randolph and Marta Frederick for “Homemade Vs. Store-Bought Crepes,” a three-day lesson that used an extended cost comparison to teach students about marketing, decision-making and cooking.

Economic education locally is supported by Shenandoah Valley Economic Education Inc., a nonprofit organization that combines business and school contributions to fund the field work of the James Madison University Center for Economic Education.


GEM Fair date set

The next GEM Fair presented by Union Bank & Trust has been set for March 8, 2017 at the JMU’s 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. If you’re a teacher of grades 3-8 and would like to participate int he Mini-Economy and GEM Fair, you can get three sessions of training in our workshop series (after school September 8, 22 and 29). For more information on the GEM Fair, contact Lynne Stover at (540) 568-3248 or send email. Here’s a video on the last GEM Fair:


Reading Makes Cent$

JMU’s Lynne Stover continues to play a key role in the state delivery of the “Reading Makes Cent$” program sponsored by the Virginia Council on Economic Education and Virginia 529. The program includes free economics-related books for the libraries, associated instructional materials, and competitions for the students. Lessons authored by Stover and edited by the Virginia Council on Economic Education are available for each title. For the new school year, the three featured titles are:


My Rows and Piles of Coins by Tololwa M. Mollel, described as the story of a resourceful and thoughtful boy. The story is set in Tanzania in the 1960s.

Rock, Brock, and the Savings Shock by Sheila Bair, the story of two brothers who have very different attitudes about dealing with money.

Lemonade in Winter by Emily Jenkins illustrated by G. Brian Karas, a story about sibling entrepreneurship.


Wood set to receive national research award

William C. Wood

JMU’s Dr. William C. Wood has been chosen to receive the top research award given by the National Association of Economic Educators (NAEE). Wood will receive the Henry H. Villard Research Award, which the award charter says was “established to encourage and recognize outstanding contributions in economic education research.” NAEE will confer the award on Wood in Phoenix, AZ October 6 at the organization’s annual meeting, jointly held with the Council for Economic Education.

Wood has served since 1989 as director of the JMU Center for Economic Education. The Center is directly supported by Shenandoah Valley Economic Education Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting economic literacy in the Valley.

Wood’s publications in economic education span a period of more than 30 years, beginning with “The Educational Potential of News Coverage of Economics,” published in the field’s leading journal, The Journal of Economic Education, in 1985. Wood has since published scholarly work with 22 different coauthors, four of whom were JMU undergraduates in honors or independent study programs. His work includes the U.S. economic history textbook Economic Episodes in American History (with Mark C. Schug) and an antitrust study published by The MIT Press (with Kenneth G. Elzinga). His work has appeared in outlets as diverse as The Journal of Risk and Insurance, Public Choice, and The Wall Street Journal.

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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