Headquartered in Valley Forge, Pa., Vanguard is one of the world’s largest investment companies, offering a large selection of low-cost mutual funds, ETFs, advice, and related services. Vanguard crew members employ their professional skills and expertise to benefit our clients and our communities. My Classroom Economy (MCE) is a financial education program created at Vanguard and developed by volunteer crew members. Vanguard’s partners in these efforts include the Jump$tart Coalition for Personal Financial Literacy, school districts in all 50 states, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Financial Security.
WHAT WE OFFER
MCE is available to students in kindergarten through 12th grade and uses materials that teachers and administrators may access online for free and are easy to download. By simulating an actual economy, MCE provides real-world lessons that can last a lifetime, and it does so in a way kids enjoy.
WHAT WE NEED
MCE is an innovative method for teaching elementary school students the fundamentals of financial decision-making and responsibility. The free K-12 classroom program was designed by Vanguard in partnership with educators to be experiential, in contrast with more traditional financial education programs based around lesson plans. Students participate in a classroom economic system and learn the importance of earning, saving and delaying gratification. The program has reached more than half a million students nationwide since its launch in 2011.
Students participating in My Classroom Economy show consistent gains in financial knowledge, budgeting behavior, financial socialization, and economic experience, according to the results of a study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Center for Financial Security, with funding from the U.S. Department of Treasury, and in partnership with the School District of Palm Beach County Florida. The study also shows the MCE approach is appealing to teachers because it is easily integrated into the school day, helps minimize time away from core learning requirements, and does not require extensive teacher training. The results highlight the promise of financial learning programs for elementary school–age students.