Vermont students recognized for financial literacy

Vermont Business Magazine State Treasurer Beth Pearce joined with Governor Phil Scott on Thursday to recognize student achievement in the “Reading is an Investment” program and the “Be Money Wise” financial literacy poster contest. Both programs are administered by the Treasurer’s Office to engage student interest in money management skills

“Teaching Vermont’s children about financial concepts will help them achieve a lifetime of financial well-being,” said Treasurer Pearce. “Too many Americans lack the knowledge and skills to manage their money. The Treasurer’s Office’s programs provide teachers, librarians and parents with tools to teach important concepts like setting goals, saving and investing. I am proud of the Vermont students who use these programs to expand their academic horizons.”

Students were recognized at a Montpelier ceremony for their work in the Reading is an Investment program. The program is in its seventh year and was used in elementary schools all across the state. Reading is an Investment promotes financial literacy and reading literacy through classroom and library instruction and through a personal reading program. More than 4,200 students completed the reading challenge this year and had their names entered in a random drawing to win one of twenty $250 college savings accounts provided by the Vermont Student Assistance Corporation. Reading is an Investment is underwritten by the TD Bank Charitable Foundation, the Windham Foundation and Comcast.

Students winning college savings accounts include: Mallory Rogers, Bellows Free Academy – Fairfax; Keegan Snyder, Cambridge Elementary School; Katerine Lacourciere, Essex Elementary School; Acadia Clark, Ferrisburgh Central School; Julien Andrus, Ferrisburgh Central School; James Bowley, Lakeview Union School; Charlie Reiderer, Mary Hogan School; Cody Wheeler, Orange Center School; Alex Blaise, Sustainability Academy at Lawrence Barnes; Natalie Young, Tunbridge Central School; Gina LeBeau, Vergennes Union Elementary; Hailey Daniels, Weathersfield Elementary School.

Franklin Middle School won a four-foot-tall Vermont Teddy Bear for its school library, recognizing its efforts to engage students in the reading program.

This was the tenth year of the annual Be Money Wise Poster Contest, open to students in third through twelfth grades. The contest is held in partnership with the Vermont Bankers Association, which provides $100 to the student winner in each division and $100 to the students’ schools, if applicable, for supporting financial literacy. The theme this year was, “Race to Savings Success.”

Winning first place in the elementary school division was Alex Zuchowski of Williston Central School. Second and third place went to Kevin Lahiri and Gabriella Clark, respectively, who also attend Williston Central School. The middle school division was won by homeschooled student Isabella Gaffney. Julia Lamorey and Joey Merola, both of Williston Central School, placed second and third. In the high school division, first place was won by Montpelier High School student Charlotte Brace. Rice Memorial High School student Allison Babbit placed second. Haleigh Molinario, of Randolph Technical Career Center, was awarded third prize.

Six students received honorable mention recognition. Their posters were placed on display for the day at the State House in Montpelier on April 6. Those students placing in the honorable mention category were: Samuel Wooliever, U-32 High School; Allie Perini, Green Mountain Technology and Career Center; Lilly Laughlin, St. Albans Town Educational Center; Jasmine Cousino, Williston Central School; Jushua Lu, Trinity Baptist School; Alexis Fernandez, Trinity Baptist School.

Winning posters from this year’s contest may be viewed on the State Treasurer’s Office financial literacy web site at Also available at this site are lesson plans and activities for the Reading is an Investment program.

Source: State Treasurer 4.7.2017