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Virginia First Lady Northam Shows Support for Virginia529 Financial Literacy Initiative

Virginia529 and the Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE) today announced a special collaboration with Virginia First Lady Pamela Northam in support of the financial literacy program for elementary students in Virginia, Reading Makes Cents.

The program has launched a video featuring Mrs. Northam reading aloud from “Save It,” a book in the popular Moneybunny series by Cinders McLeod.

The book, which is one of three book selections in this year’s Reading Makes Cents challenge, offers an introduction to simple money concepts as a little bunny learns about the power and satisfaction that come with saving money.

The video, along with resources, will be posted at, and on VCEE's YouTube and Facebook pages to provide easy access for teachers, students and parents.

“Every child in Virginia deserves to transition into adulthood with the resources and skills they need to succeed, and financial literacy is key to that success,” Northam said.

“I’m thrilled to support families and the mission of the Reading Makes Cents program.”

Virginia529 created Reading Makes Cents seven years ago in partnership with the Virginia Council on Economic Education (VCEE) to introduce basic financial concepts to K-5 students. The program teaches a multitude of age-appropriate financial literacy and SOL concepts through a selection of engaging books, lesson plans and fun activities provided to Virginia schools.

Concepts covered include goods and services, bartering, money, savings, capital resources, natural resources, jobs, opportunity cost and scarcity.

“Financial literacy impacts almost every aspect of our lives,” said Daniel Mortensen, VCEE president and CEO. “Reading Makes Cents puts the toolkit in the hands of our parents and school librarians and encourages important conversations in a way that resonates with children.”

Since its creation, 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 Invest529 savings accounts.

April is Financial Literacy Month, which highlights the importance of financial education and teaches individuals how to establish and maintain healthy financial habits. It also marks School Library Month, which celebrates the essential role school libraries play in transforming learning.

“This month is a perfect time to acknowledge the invaluable role educators --- specifically librarians --- have in helping equip children with the skills that pave their way to a healthy financial future,” said Mary Morris, Virginia529 CEO.

“We’re grateful for First Lady Northam’s recognition and support of our efforts to engage students and families in discussions on financial topics at a young age.”

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, 2021.


About Virginia529 College Savings Plan:

Virginia529 makes education more accessible and affordable for families and individuals. With more than $92 billion in assets under management and 2.8 million accounts as of March 30, 2021, Virginia529 is the largest 529 plan available. Two flexible, affordable, tax-advantaged programs–Invest529SM and CollegeAmerica®–and early commitment scholarship program SOAR Virginia® --assist students of any age in reaching their higher education goals. For more information on Virginia529’s college savings options, visit or call 1-888-567-0540 to obtain program materials. These include information on Virginia529 programs, investment objectives, risks, charges, expenses and other important information; read and consider them carefully before investing. All investments are subject to risk, including the possible loss of the money you invest.  Virginia529 encourages prospective participants to seek the advice of a professional concerning any financial, tax or legal implications related to opening an account. For residents of states other than Virginia: before investing, you should consider whether your or the beneficiary’s home state offers any state tax or other state benefits such as financial aid, scholarship funds, and protections from creditors that are only available for investments in that state’s qualified tuition program. ©2021 Virginia College Savings Plan. All Rights Reserved.


About the Virginia Council on Economic Education

The Virginia Council on Economic Education, a nonprofit organization, provides Virginia K-12 students with the economic knowledge and financial skills needed to thrive in our dynamic economy. By providing quality training and up-to-date resources, the Virginia Council on Economic Education partners with teachers and school divisions to help students develop decision-making skills needed to be informed consumers, productive employees or innovative entrepreneurs, thoughtful investors, and reasoned voters. For more information, visit

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Devon Copeland

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Phone: 804.225.2452

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