Financial Literacy Educator Award

The Indiana Jump$tart Coalition works to increase financial literacy in young Hoosiers. We recognize that educators are an important part of that mission and support their efforts by hosting professional development workshops, offering curriculum and resources from our partners and more.

In 2009, we created the Money Smart Week Financial Literacy Educator Award to honor an Indiana educator who is passionate about financial literacy and incorporates it in their classroom in a unique and effective manner.

2010 Winner - Margaret Griffin, Lincoln Elementary School
Margaret is a fifth grade teacher at Lincoln Elementary School in Huntington. Her students participate in an all-school mini-mall project where they form businesses and learn about the economy from a hands-on perspective. Margaret says the experience helps her students to become better producers, consumers and citizens of the future.

In her words: I've learned over the years that anybody can help kids with financial literacy. When my own children were young they used to set up a stores and restaurants and practice being producers and consumers. So when I learned some entrepreneurship ideas from the Indiana Council for Economic Education (ICEE), I started an annual mini mall program at our school. Every year we simulate a real Christmas mall, and kids have a real world experience.  They have to plan, organize, produce, advertise, sell, shop, and decide to whom to give their profits. At our school we are fortunate to have administrators and teachers see the value and put in extra effort into making the mini mall happen. It's my hope that all students at our school will start the tradition of having a good work ethic and spending their money wisely.

As part of the award, the Financial Planning Association of Greater Indiana sponsored Margaret to attend the National Jump$tart Educator Conference in D.C. this November. They also surprised her with an additional $350 to use on financial literacy resources for her classroom. Thanks FPA!

2010 Award Winner Margaret Griffin
Indiana Jump$tart Coalition President Jenifer Groth presents Margaret Griffin with the Financial Literacy Educator Award at the 2010 Money Smart Week Kickoff Breakfast.

2009 Winner - Jennifer Tait, Lebanon High School
Jennifer demonstrates a great passion for financial literacy as she teaches cooperative education students. She impressed the coalition with her “When I Grow Up” project where students are married, assigned a job and income level and keep track of monthly expenses like rent, insurance and more. This real-life simulation is an eye-opener for many students.

In her words: I was extremely pleased, honored, and humbled to receive this award. In our society today, it is even more important that we teach our students how to be savvy consumers and savers. Many of the parents/guardians of our young adults are not equipped to provide lessons in this area; therefore, it is important that our young adults graduate from high school not only with a diploma but a knowledge of financial education not only for the present but for their futures.

Jennifer Tait and Secretary of State Todd Rokita
Indiana Secretary of State Todd Rokita congratulates Jennifer Tait on receiving the Financial Literacy Educator Award at the 2009 Money Smart Week Kickoff Breakfast.