Northern Kentucky University’s Center for Economic Education is expanding its award-winning Danny Dollar Academy to a virtual platform for elementary educators.
The Danny Dollar Academy teaches financial literacy through the story of an 11-year-old aspiring millionaire and his successful lemonade stand venture. With the landscape of education evolving, the CEE collaborated with the Federal Reserve Bank of Cleveland to completely adapt the program virtually, so any educator can better teach students in third through fifth grades about economics, personal finance and entrepreneurship.
“I believe that learning should be fun for everyone. Seeing how excited students are to learn through this program is inspiring, and we want more students to have this opportunity,” said Dr. Abdullah Al-Bahrani, director of NKU’s Center for Economic Education. “In a time when teachers need more support, I’m glad NKU can provide it. We provide the resources to plant the seeds of entrepreneurship, which can be part of any education.”
The four-week program begins with students reading “Danny Dollar Millionaire Extraordinaire.” Educators are provided with teaching materials and flexible lesson plans that connect the concepts in the book. The Academy concludes with students creating their own business and meeting the book’s author, Ty Allan Jackson.
Teachers are also encouraged to join professional development training as well as Q&A’s with the CEE, Jackson and the Cleveland Fed to learn about implementing the program, sharing resources and helping complete assessments.
“Educators and administrators recognize the importance of financial literacy education,” said Dean Hassan HassabElnaby, Haile/US Bank College of Business. “However, it is difficult to introduce a new class without additional resources or support for education systems. This is one reason why we provide professional development and curriculum to schools.”
Impressed by the inclusiveness, diversity, and educational value of the book, Dr. Al-Bahrani reached out to Jackson in 2016 to develop a financial literacy program, ultimately bringing Danny Dollar Academy to life.
The Danny Dollar Academy reaches over 4,500 elementary students throughout the country each year. This year, the CEE is also partnering with the University of Kentucky Institute for the Study of Free Enterprise to expand the program’s reach and cover the cost of educator professional development. For more information on the CEE and the academy, visit its website.