As you all know, I’m a big fan of Donorschoose, both as a recipient and as a donor. I am very strategic with how I post projects on Donorschoose. I always wait for the opportune moment – when there’s a special promotion, when I have gift cards, or when I know that I’ll have special funding. This past week was the perfect storm! It was announced that Charles Schwab would match any donation made to a project focused on Financial Literacy. Boom! That’s my wheelhouse! I had been sitting on a gift card for a while, just waiting for the right time to use it. I’m not totally selfish, I’ve already met my yearly goal of donating to a teacher in each of the 50 states this year!
My first project was entitled Playing our Way to Financial Literacy!
I am always looking for fun and exciting ways for my students to hone their skills in financial literacy. In my Personal Finance classes, I would love to have periodic Game Day Competitions to reward students for their hard work throughout our class. We need board games like Monopoly, Ticket to Ride, and the Game of Life. These games will give an opportunity for students to unplug and engage with each other while playing board games that reinforce various financial literacy skills like money management, long-term planning, budgeting, and other key life skills. The board games I’ve selected will help my students do just that! Allowing my students to have fun “unplugged” days will give them an opportunity to socialize and unwind while learning the importance of financial literacy.
I donated my gift card to myself and the donation was doubled with the Charles Schwab match. Then another business educator fully-funded the rest of the project for me. Teachers stick together and help each other out! What a fabulous surprise!
My second project was more creative, Mastering Financial Literacy as Makerpreneurs. This one combined a makerspace, entrepreneurship, and financial literacy.
Students in my Entrepreneurship classes routinely run small businesses to learn about the functions of business and the importance of properly handling financial responsibilities. Up until this point, students have designed products like wristbands, tumbler cups, and car decals. Students then commissioned vendors to create the products for them. This year, we’re putting a new twist on the project. Students will be creating their own products to sell!
One of our most popular products in the past was winter hats sold in our school’s colors. This time around, students will be making the hats (and possibly scarves) themselves on the knitting machine. Students will need to forecast a budget based on buying materials (yarn) and sales, and will analyze their business using financial statements.
I used an additional gift card to make a donation to myself and it was doubled by the Charles Schwab match. I also received a donation from our local Horace Mann agent, which was also doubled by the Charles Schwab match. I was then able to fully-fund the remainder of the project out of an innovation grant that was awarded to me by the Edcamp Foundation. I have to account for my grant spending and this was one of the items I said I would purchase. By doing it through Donorschoose, taking advantage of the Charles Schwab match, and other donations, I am stretching my grant funding even further! I am rather proud of being able to get more out of my grant so that my students benefit even more.
I have already been notified that the materials have been ordered and are on their way. Photos and updates will be forthcoming. Stay tuned for updates!
Have you supported a teacher on Donorschoose? Your local teachers and students would be so appreciative if you did!