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Vault Brings Learning Up a Notch

Today we’re featuring a guest post from elementary student Natalie who earned her Vault – Understanding Money certification this spring. Natalie shares how the Vault program started out as just an assignment, but quickly became a valuable learning experience for her future. Congrats to Natalie for being one of our scholarship recipients!

Natalie

Student: Natalie
Teacher: Ms. Caterina
School: Mammoth Heights Elementary School
State: Colorado
Sponsor: Colorado Office of the Attorney General

My name is Natalie and I am 12 years old. EVERFI’s Vault was a life changer for me. I learned so much and had so much fun doing it! It took me a while, but it was worth it. I learned so much within the six lessons, but learned the most out of Responsible Money Choices, Income and Careers , and Planning and Money Management. At first I started out doing it for an assignment and ended up doing it for fun.

The first world within the program was about Responsible Money Choices. When I was about 10 or 11 years old, I started a savings account. I would earn the money and go to the bank to deliver it straight into my savings account. I stopped after a while as I yearned to go the mall or movies with my friends. I ended up almost using all my money except for the money in my savings account. When I started the Responsible Money Choices lesson on EVERFI, I started feeling guilty and ended up putting money in my savings account again. I keep a little money in my wallet for things I really need but the rest of my money goes in the savings account. I learned that having a savings account is an important thing and money isn’t meant to be wasted. I should also save my money now so that I can have it for the future. Such as college, or maybe even my career. I hope I never use all my money up again for silly things.

When I was done with the first world I was excited to see what was next. It ended up being the Income and Careers lesson. At first I didn’t know what income was, but as I continued through that activity’s lessons I learned that it is hard earned money through a career. A career is usually a passion that is turned into something that will be happening for the rest of a life. I first started out bored and confused but ended up learning that income is very important and is not just about making money. It is about making money and having fun doing it.

In the third lesson, Planning and Money Management, I learned so much. I have a very big structured brain, which means that I am very organized. Planning is a big part of your future. With my organized brain I am sure that I can take my knowledge to the next level. I can think about my money. I learned that it is the best time when you are around my age to start saving up and stop spending. That is why I started a savings account. It helps my organized brain think. I also learned that it can be so confusing to do taxes and checks. As I got deeper into Vault, I learned that can be quite simple.

EVERFI is such an amazing and really helpful tool. It helped me through some tough times. I hope everyone around the world uses EVERFI’s Vault. It may start out as an assignment, but will for sure turn out as a thing to do for fun. It brings learning up a notch and is very helpful for teachers. EVERFI is a life changer.

Teacher Feature: I am motivated everyday to see my students explore

At EVERFI, we know our best STEM advocates are our educators.

Today we’re featuring Ms. Scarfogliero, a science teacher at PS/IS 109 Glenwood Academy of Science and Technology in New York.

How do you implement EVERFI’s resources in your classroom?

I implement EVERFI’s resources in my classroom through the Future Goals – Hockey Scholar program.  This is my second year using the program in my 8th grade science classes.  Before Hockey Scholar, most of my students were unfamiliar with the game of hockey, and the entire program was a new experience for them.  My students loved it!  They obtain a great deal of STEM knowledge in each module and love competing to win trophies.  

 

Why do you use EVERFI’s resources?

I continue to use EVERFI’s resources to increase student motivation and engagement. Students are exposed to real life experiences and observe first hand the connection between science and sports. My students are always motivated to use the program to learn new content.   I like the ease of use EVERFI’s programs and differentiation the program adds to my classroom.  Hockey Scholar is easily accessible to all types of learners.  

 

How do you think technology will change education over the next 10 years?

I feel technology is the largest area for growth in education today.  Students are always on their phones or computers; we should harness that level of engagement and interaction into academic success.  EVERFI’s partnership has offered both a beneficial technology and additional interactive STEM component to my science classroom.  This partnership has also made a positive impact on my pedagogy. Technology fuels student excitement and successfully differentiates instruction.  Using the program to explore science, technology, engineering and math topics has helped my students to think critically, design, collaborate, problem solve, use the scientific method and learn about the engineering process.  I am motivated everyday to see my students explore new concepts and be passionate about science.  

 

What impact have these programs had on your classroom?

Over the past two years using the program, I have seen improvement in student motivation and understanding of many topics, including physical science topics such as force and motion.  The program has also exposed my students to different fields of science and sports as well as possible future career paths. Thank you for offering such a beneficial teaching tool!

 

Thank YOU, Ms. Scarfogliero!

 Ms. Scarfogliero

Laura Scarfogliero

Science Teacher

PS/IS 109 Glenwood Academy of Science and Technology

Learning Through EVERFI Has Settled Some of My Financial Worries

Today we’re featuring a guest post from student Miranda who shares her experience with EverFi – Financial Literacy and how she believes the program has helped her better prepare for life after high school. Congrats to Miranda for being one of our scholarship recipients!

Student: Miranda
Teacher: Mr. Keller
School: Oliver Wendell Holmes High School
State: Texas
Sponsor: MassMutual Foundation

There is no such thing as being 100 percent prepared for anything in life. In school we are taught how to write better, solve math problems quicker, and memorize scientific and historical facts longer, but we are never directly taught how to do important fundamentals of life. Often times I have heard stories from my friends who wish they would have known this or didn’t find out until it was too late, and it has made me wonder why aren’t students informed sooner? I believe the reason people are unsuccessful in their finances is not because they failed to prepare themselves for future circumstances, but rather they simply were not given the tools to know for themselves. EVERFI is the tool that can and does help numerous students transition securely into their new financial circumstances. The three topics I believe will help me directly after high school are higher education, credit scores, and investing. By understanding these three topics better, I feel more prepared and assured in myself to increase my financial stability for the future.

Learning about higher education, credit scores, and investing through EVERFI has settled some of my financial worries by exposing me to various paths and helping me to choose the best ones for me. The higher education portion of the module has made me feel better prepared on how to pay for college. Understanding how my FAFSA provides a personalized limit on money I can use toward college, how filing for subsidized loans is a better choice, and how to get more grant and scholarship opportunities has benefited me in organizing a suitable way to pay for college. This section taught me how to handle my payments and debts for college in a way so that once I graduate, I will not feel overwhelmed or stressed like many other graduates often do.

Before using the module I didn’t know the advantages and disadvantages of having a credit card nor how it could effect my credit scores. I will now be encouraged to pay my future credit bills on time so that credit lenders will know I am dependable; furthermore, making me eligible to receive loans in the future. The investment section taught me how it’s better to prepare for situations that are years ahead rather than months away. I’ve learned that bonds are loans to business and are safer choices than stocks where the profit I earn fluctuates along with success of that particular business. I now know undoubtedly by saving more today I can enjoy the benefits tomorrow .

I appreciate this module for teaching myself, alongside many other users, how to not be afraid of our future responsibilities. I believe that the reason so many people stress over their finances is because they don’t know what to expect. This module may not take care of all of the financial burdens people face, but it does help to educate and prepare them for when situations arise.

Future Goals STEM Scholarship Winners

 

Announcing the winners of the Future Goals STEM Scholarship!

More than 1,000 students across the country submitted entries for our Future Goals STEM Scholarship competition! We were blown away by students’ stories detailing how The Future Goals Program helped them learn important STEM skills and career opportunities. Thank you to all of the students and teachers who participated.

Congratulations to the winners who will each receive a $1,000 529 College Savings Scholarship to help fund their STEM educations:

Mallory S, Oblock Junior High School, PA
Caitlyn Z, Whitt Fine Arts Academy, TX
Natalie M, Garrett Junior High School, NV

Congratulations – Spring Scholarship Contest Winners!

A huge thanks to the 1,100+ students who participated in the 529 College Savings Scholarship competition! We loved learning how EverFi’s financial education courses have had a positive impact on these students’ lives, and we look forward to sharing a few of those thoughtful and inspiring stories in the coming weeks.

Congratulations to the winners who will each receive a $1,000 529 College Savings Scholarship!

Miranda, Oliver Wendell Holmes High School, Texas
Natalie, Mammoth Heights Elementary, Colorado
Gina, Wallenpaupack Area High School, Pennsylvania
Edgar, Jefferson High School, Illinois
Lauren, Bradley Central High School, Tennessee

Interview with Harriet Sanford, President & CEO of the NEA Foundation

We recently sat down with Harriet Sanford to hear about her impressive 40-year career in education, and her current work supporting public teachers and students through the NEA Foundation. The interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Harriet Sanford

Why did you go into education? 

I began my career – 40 years ago (sigh!) — as a public school teacher at Arbor Hill Elementary School, in Albany, NY, just blocks away from where I spent the first seven years of my life. Although I did not remain in the classroom for many years, my commitment to improving lives and underserved communities for the better never faltered. It has been a privilege to work in education philanthropy for the last 12 years, but make no mistake, it is educators who go to work in the trenches every day, not funders.

Neither my mother nor father completed their educations. Nonetheless, they were adamant that their children take advantage of all of the opportunities that a public education offers — both in and out of school time. They fully expected their children to pursue higher education and ensured that we could immerse ourselves in our studies, service, sports, and more. With many communities, schools and families just like mine facing insufficient resources, my work and the Foundation’s work is to do all that we can to ensure that every student has access to a high-quality education and finds his or her own joy in learning.

What is the NEA Foundation and what support does it give teachers?
The NEA Foundation is an independent, 501(C)3 public charity, created, in 1969 by educators for educators, to improve public education for all students. Highlights of support for teachers include:

  • Our Grants to Educators, distributed three times each year, fund educators’ creative and innovative classroom projects designed to prepare students for college, work, and life. Last year, our grants empowered more than 6,000 educators, reaching more than 186,000 students.
  • Our annual Awards for Teaching Excellence honor the challenging but crucial work that public school educators do every day. We reward outstanding educators who are shining examples of the millions of people who work tirelessly in America’s public schools, in service of students, but seldom hear how much we appreciate them.
  • Our Global Learning Fellowship, takes a group of educators abroad, such as on recent trip along the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu and other significant historical and cultural sites in Peru, as part of a year-long, cohort-based, professional development program. Participating educators return from their travels with fresh knowledge, skills and perspective needed to teach in the global age, and better equipped to deliver globally focused curriculum in their home schools and communities. Fellows also contribute to a growing, freely accessible, online collection of 195 lesson plans, accessed by peer teachers around the country more than 4,000 times.
  • We regularly produce issue briefs sharing the Foundation’s and our partners’ lessons learned on a wide range of topics and disseminating actionable information that helps educators overcome challenges to teaching and learning.

How do EverFi & the NEA Foundation work together?

The NEA Foundation and EverFi work together to increase educator and student access to technology and digital learning tools. We collectively strive to support critical skill areas that will enhance students’ ultimate academic and life success.

The partnerships currently supports NEA school districts across the country, providing free access to EverFi’s digital resources and accompanying professional development. Districts that have participated include Springfield, MA; Lee County, FL; and Prince George’s County, MD. Our partnership is leading us to work on more programming in STEM and to develop initiatives in social and emotional learning.

What encouragement would you give teachers who are working to integrate critical skills education into their classrooms?

My key piece of advice to educators, no matter what or whom they teach, is almost always the same: It takes “fierce” to battle your own self-doubt when you are the only one who seems to know that “good enough” is just not good enough for your students. Excellence is what you are after, and you are not going to let anything or anyone stand between your students and excellence. Bring “fierce” to the table every time. Be gentle, kind and caring with your students, but be fierce about their education.

 

Thanks to Harriet for giving us a glimpse into the important work she and the Foundation are doing to support public school education! If you’re interested in learning more about EverFi or our work with the NEA Foundation, reach out to Steve Sandak at steve@everfi.com.

Announcing the Scholarship Contest Winners!

The Winter Scholarship Contest ended last week with a record number of student submissions. From earning their doctorates to being nautical engineers, your students shared big dreams. We loved hearing about what they’ve learned through Vault and FutureSmart, and how financial education will make a difference in their lives. Each of our five student winners earned a $1000 college savings scholarship to help make their dreams a reality. Their stories will be featured on the EverFi Blog over the coming weeks. Congratulations winners!

Khloe W, STEM Magnet Academy, Illinois

Shannon W, New Market Middle School, Maryland

Grace K, Falls Lake Academy, North Carolina

Diandra P, Giltner High School, Nebraska

Mateja C, Berlin Middle School, Wisconsin

Want to submit more stories? The Spring Scholarship Competition is now open! We will be awarding another five $1,000 college savings scholarships to students in the U.S. who complete Vault, FutureSmart, or EverFi Financial Literacy, and who provide a short reflection by April 28th. This is a great capstone project for students and allows them to reflect on what they’ve learned. Click here to learn more.

From Teacher to School Implementation Manager

I am lucky to spend the majority of my job with the people who undertake some of the most important work on the planet: teachers.

As an EverFi implementation manager, my role is to support teachers’ instruction, and enhance student engagement and achievement through EverFi’s digital curricula. I have the opportunity to work with district and school leadership, along with teachers, on a daily basis to ensure smooth adoption of our learning courses. This includes collaborating with educators to determine placement for our curricula, training teachers to use our resources, assisting with classroom implementation and providing support. As a former educator, I know that teaching entails so much more than what meets the eye. Being an implementation manager enables me to help teachers innovate in their classrooms in a way that allows them to focus their time and energy on what matters the most – students.

oak hill vaultIt is truly my passion and privilege to bring EverFi’s courses to students in my hometown of Jacksonville, Florida. Some of the amazing educators I work with include my former teachers, colleagues and friends – I even work with my own former students. Whether it’s teaching a high school senior about paying for college or changing a middle schooler’s mind about cyberbulling, EverFi’s lessons address some of the most pressing needs in today’s classrooms. When part of a teacher’s repertoire, EverFi has the ability to impact the lives of kids who will shape our community for the better.

I recently worked with Michelle Harcourt, who oversees the Fresh Futures summer youth employment program for students from low-income families. Students complete EverFi – Financial Literacy alongside their summer jobs so that while they are earning money, they are learning how to be financially responsible. One student recognized that her mom would benefit from the course, so she decided to go through it with her. Now they talk about money as a family, something they never did before. 

Implementation managers also have the opportunity to engage with community partners regarding the sponsorship of our courses. By bringing EverFi to teachers and students, I help bridge partnerships between them and the generous sponsors who have a stake in the health and success of schools.

From a sponsor meeting in an office with a skyline view, to a school’s tiny computer lab full of 4thgraders, no two days as an implementation manager are ever the same. What does remain constant is that I am always challenged, humbled and completely connected to the work and mission of EverFi – impacting the lives of students.

Learn more about becoming a Schools Implementation Manager at EverFi.