Vermont Students Recognized for Achievement in Financial Literacy Programs

From coin identification to how our banking system works—Vermont students were challenged this year, through two financial literacy programs, to learn more about how our economy works. State Treasurer Beth Pearce recognized student achievement in the Reading is an Investment program and the Be Money Wise financial literacy poster contest. Both programs are administered by the Treasurer’s office.

 “We started these programs to raise the financial literacy of Vermont’s youth,” said Pearce. “These programs provide teachers, school librarians and parents with tools they can use to introduce financial concepts to children. The aim is to start an educational process in students that encourages them to learn money management skills and build their knowledge of how the economy works.”

Students were recognized for their work in the Reading is an Investment program. The program was used this year in 138 Vermont elementary schools. This is the sixth year of the program, which promotes both financial literacy and reading literacy through classroom and library instruction and through a personal reading program. There were 5,664 students who completed the reading challenge this year and had their names entered in a random drawing to win one of twenty $250 college savings accounts provided by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. Reading is an Investment is underwritten by the TD Bank Charitable Foundation, the Windham Foundation and Comcast.

Students winning college savings accounts are: Lea Krause, Addison Central School; Eliana Dolloff, Albany Community School; Ryu Wright and Steven Collette, Bennington Elementary School; Aden Moore and Ashton Taylor, Bradford Elementary School; Carson Hooks and Maxwell Campbell, Chamberlin Elementary School; Jazmine Curley, Chester-Andover Elementary School; Tenley Whitehouse, Ferrisburg Central School; Libby Bowley, Lakeview Union School; Makiah Richardson, Lunenburg Elementary School; Parker Eidsheim, Mallets Bay School; Taylor Lacoste, Manchester Elementary School; Ainsley Meyer, NewBrook Elementary School; Archer Henderson, St. Albans Town Educational Center; Gabrielle Spaulding, Sheldon Elementary School; Cade Tessier, Swanton Central School; Rebecca Butler, Underhill ID Elementary School; and William Collins, Washington Village School.

Manchester Elementary School and Washington Village School each won a four-foot-tall Vermont Teddy Bear for their school libraries. The schools were chosen from a random drawing of 35 schools which had one-third or more of the student body complete the reading challenge. There were three schools that had 100 percent participation in the reading challenge. Those schools and their librarians are: Barstow Elementary, Heidi Webster; Bethel Elementary, Janet Whitaker; and Lakeview Union Elementary, Carol Rowell.

This was the ninth year for the annual Be Money Wise Poster Contest, open to students in third through twelfth grades. The contest is held in partnership with the Vermont Bankers Association, which provides $100 to the student winner in each division and $100 to the students’ schools for supporting financial literacy. The theme this year was, “I Am a Money Maker!”

Winning first place in the elementary school division was Marin Hemmett of Williston Central School. Second place was won by Tommy Jacques of Christ the King School in Rutland. Third place was won by Joseph Paquette of Richford Elementary School. The middle school division was won by Williston Central School student Hailey Chase. Homeschooled student Isabella Gaffney placed second and Browns River Middle School student Cassandra Bourdeau won third. In the high school division, first place was won by Milton High School student Carol Fagan and Essex High School student Jordan Appenzeller placed second. The judges did not designate a third place winner in the high school division.

Fifteen students received honorable mention recognition. Their posters were placed on display for the day at the State House in Montpelier onApril 7. Those students placing in the honorable mention category were: Ari Randall and Gordan Clark, Avalon Triumvirate Academy; Jordan Parenteau, Browns River Middle School; Emma Cosgove and Ethan Courcelle, Christ the King School; Alexis Donna, Essex High School; Batula Mohamed, Integrated Arts Academy; Brittney Sabolevski, Leland & Gray Union Middle and High School; Katelyn Prescott, Lothrup Elementary School; Kristen Potter, Milton High School; Troy Kane, Richford Elementary School; Allison Bushey, St. Albans Town Educational Center; and Nina Zimakas, Ashley Davidson and Seph Niquette, Williston Central School.

Winning posters from this year’s contest may be viewed on the State Treasurer’s Office financial literacy web site at Also available at this site are lesson plans and activities for the Reading is an Investment program.

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