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About the Sponsor

H&R Block Dollars & Sense is committed to increasing the financial fitness of America’s youth and teaching them lessons they’ll bank on for a lifetime.

For financial literacy resources and inspiration for teaching money management lessons, visit HRBlockDollarsandSense .com or connect on Facebook at Facebook.com/HRBDS.

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How do you help students increase their money smarts?

Check out our winning lesson plans!

Recently, WeAreTeachers and H&R Block Dollars & Sense asked teachers nationwide to share their best financial literacy lessons. The outpouring of ideas was impressive, but three entries rose to the top.

Congratulations to our winners:

  • Grand prize: Keyona Nwaolu
  • Second-place: Ruth Gale-Paredez
  • Third-place: Diana Shay Diehl

See the top lesson plans now!

Keyona Nwaolu: "The End & The Beginning!"
Students will create a portfolio reflecting their life after high school graduation. The main parts of the portfolio include: Getting a job, Getting a place to live, Getting a vehicle, getting insured, investing, & creating a budget.
Ruth Gale-Paredez: "What education do you need to live comfortably?"
Fifth grade students figure out exactly how much it costs to live for a family of four. Survey is taken for all expenses including taxes and insurance and an amount of income is calculated. Then a career is chosen to meet their needs and wants.
Diana Shay Diehl: "California Grizzly Bank (Student Checkbooks)"
In this ongoing lesson, 4th grade students learn to keep a checkbook balance by adding money earned for various activities and subtracting 'fines'. They also have opportunities to "purchase" items & participate in auctions with their earned balance.
Anthony Dezio: "Road Trip."
Students will create a custom itinerary for a road trip across the country, calculating driving distances and costs for gas, hotels, admission tickets and food. Students will also use conversion factors to convert costs into daily rates.
Lisa Jahnke: "Reality Store."
The Reality Store is designed to give students a glimpse of what it is like to live and work in the real world. Students will be researching a career for several weeks. They will use that career and the income to go through a month's expenses.
Michelle Rosencrans: "Economics in Real Life."
Students become fully engaged in this project that not only covers CCSS in math, social studies, reading, writing, listening and speaking, but also gives students an opportunity to experience real life responsibilities that they will face as adults.
Katrina Walker: "C R E D I T, That spells Credit Project."
Students select the materials (project form) that they want. Options would include: computers (Prezi, PowerPoint, Film), musical instruments (Rap, Song), paper (Cartoon, Poem, Story) or other students to help with a Play.
Matt Van Gelder: "To be in Debt or not to be in Debt, that is the Question"
Students learn how to budget in the Smart Phone era. Using the EEBA (Easy Envelope Budget Aid) application for both desktop computers and Tablets, students input their daily spending into categories. The app also creates a visual chart and breakdown.
D’Annette Mullen: "Dollars and Sense: Understanding our Money”
Students will learn the purpose of checking accounts and how to use them and keep track of debits and credits. They will also be able to write checks at the lesson's conclusion.
Minerva Santerre: "FEED- Future Entrepreneurs in Every Direction."
This project allows elementary middles and high school students to collaborate and mentor one another as they strive to make recycled products and hold a FEED market Day. The money made from FEED Day the goes to a specific organization to help.
Danielle Stephens: "Online Shopping."
The students will have a determined amount of money to use for online shopping.
Stacey Mulhall: "CU 4 Reality Curriculum and Financial Literacy Fair."
This is a FREE project sponsored by the Service Credit Union. Activity allows students to choose a career, understand monthly income and plan a budget through the Financial Literacy Fair.
Pam Pleas: “Can I live on what I'll make?”
This lesson/unit ties career research to wages, taxes, and a personal budget plan to determine how students will live on a starting salary in a career of interest to them.
Kristie Wikane: "Affording my lifestyle."
One teacher breaks down her expenses and income to provide eye-opening discussion and clarity into budgeting.
Program Details

H&R Block is the sponsor and WeAreTeachers is the official administrator of this program.

Apply By:
December 11, 2013

Winner(s) Announced:
January 2, 2014 
How It Works
  1. Submit a great idea. Here are some hints for making your idea stand out.
  2. Your idea will be reviewed by a panel of fellow educators, who will choose 10 merit finalists.
  3. The top three winners will be selected by the sponsor based on merit.
Prize Package
  • One grand-prize winner will receive :
    a $3,500 grant for his or her classroom.
  • The second-place winner will receive:
    a $1,000 grant for his or her classroom.
  • A third-place winner will receive:
    a $500 grant for his or her classroom
  • All entrants will receive an educator discount on their 2013 tax preparation at a local H&R Block.
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