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Reading Makes Cents Program wins Top Financial Literacy Award

Reading Makes Cents, the financial literacy program that provides Virginia elementary schools with books and supporting lessons to build personal finance skills, has been awarded the platinum award for curriculum by the National Association of Economic Educators (NAEE).

The top honor was announced at the organization’s recent annual professional development meeting.

Created by Virginia529SM, in partnership with Virginia Council on Economic Education, Reading Makes Cents teaches a multitude of financial and SOL concepts through a selection of engaging books, lesson plans and fun activities provided to Virginia schools.

“Reading Makes Cents is a joint effort with VCEE to help K-5 students across the Commonwealth establish the personal finance and economics foundation they’ll need to meet their future goals,” said Virginia529 CEO Mary Morris.

“We’re thrilled to be recognized for creating an accessible model for age-appropriate financial education that will help students move into adulthood with the resources and skills they need to succeed.”

Concepts covered include goods and services, bartering, money, savings, capital resources, natural resources, jobs, opportunity cost, and scarcity. Lessons in the series were authored by Lynne F. Stover, teacher consultant in the James Madison University Center for Economic Education.

“It’s great to see this Virginia program recognized on the national stage,” said Daniel Mortensen, president and CEO of VCEE.

“Lynne’s expertise in children’s literature has given this program a tremendous boost,” he said.

Since its creation in 2014, more than 20,000 students have participated in Reading Makes Cents. Virginia529 has donated more than 5,000 free books to elementary schools across Virginia and awarded more than $50,000 worth of Invest529SM savings accounts.

To participate in this year’s Reading Makes Cents challenge and be entered for a chance to win a $529 Invest529 account to apply toward higher education costs, visit, complete the online reading log, and submit it by April 30, 2022.

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