San Francisco, CA – August 11, 2011 –Going above and beyond in the pursuit of financial literacy, Jupiter Elementary School fifth grade teacher, Tonya Doughty, was recognized today by Visa Inc. as national "Innovative Educator" for the month of August.
To help make financial learning fun and engaging, Ms. Doughty, with the help of her students, developed a financial literacy board game called Mathematic-Opoly. The game teaches kids how to develop sound money management skills early in life by giving them a responsible sense of how to earn, spend, donate and save
"Money is not a fun subject, but it is an important topic that needs to be taught. One way to make it fun for students is through games. Games nurture a variety of essential skills in the classroom and helps foster competition," said Doughty.
The motivation for creating the game came as a result of a project Jupiter students are involved in at the school led by the Kennedy Space Center Federal Credit Union. The credit union operates a branch on campus one day per week and trains students to serve as bank tellers, as well as to open their own accounts and make deposits. Ms. Doughty was so moved by the students' positive response to this program, she applied for and received a grant to create Mathematic-Opoly.
To learn more about how Ms. Doughty is helping her students tackle their financial futures, please visit www.practicalmoneyskills.com, the website for Visa's award-winning financial education program, Practical Money Skills for Life.
"For many Americans, particularly young Americans, financial education does not begin at home and so it is critical that dynamic educators like Ms. Doughty are on the front lines in the effort to make sure young people understand financial basics," said Jason Alderman, Visa's senior director of financial education. "Ms. Doughty truly shares Visa's longstanding commitment to ensuring that all consumers understand the importance of responsible money management."
The Innovative Educator award is handed out monthly to one or more teachers nationwide who demonstrate a commitment to bringing personal finance education into their classroom. The award is part of Visa's Practical Money Skills for Life program, an educator-developed and educator-approved program that helps students–from preschoolers and elementary school students, to teens and college students–learn the essentials of personal finance.
Created by Visa and available in both English and Spanish, educators, parents and students can access free educational resources including: useful personal finance information on a variety of topics, lesson plans and games, calculators, research and a monthly newsletter with over 65,000 subscribers. Visa also runs What's My Score (www.whatsmyscore.org), a leading higher education consumer awareness program. This free Web site guides college students through the ABC's of a FICO credit score, from factors that can lower a score to ways to improve it.
As part of its ongoing outreach efforts to promote early and continuous financial education since 2000, Visa has helped to bridge the digital divide by donating computers to high schools around the country and providing schools with the Practical Money Skills for Life curriculum. In addition, Visa has provided teacher training on the program so that educators can maximize the program's many valuable resources and benefits.
About Visa Inc.
Visa is a global payments technology company that connects consumers, businesses, financial institutions and governments in more than 200 countries and territories to fast, secure and reliable digital currency. Underpinning digital currency is one of the world's most advanced processing networks–VisaNet–that is capable of handling more than 10,000 transactions a second, with fraud protection for consumers and guaranteed payment for merchants. Visa is not a bank, and does not issue cards, extend credit or set rates and fees for consumers. Visa's innovations, however, enable its financial institution customers to offer consumers more choices: Pay now with debit, ahead of time with prepaid or later with credit products. For more information, visit usa.visa.com/about-visa/our_business.html.