Susan Galvez

Learning financial literacy at an early age can prove to be an effective approach in solidifying economic independence and a lifetime of responsible dos and don’ts for our kids. Honing these skills will prepare them for decision-making situations they will ultimately see in the future, and what better way to practice this than in the classroom … with prizes!

Susan Galvez, educator at Sky Harbor Elementary, was seeking an opportunity to educate her students the importance of money management, but needed the funds to, well, teach the funds! Thanks to Power of the Dollar® members, she was awarded a $1,000 grant for her “My Money Don’t Jiggle, Jiggle” project, and she was able to turn her idea into a reality by purchasing play money, storage bags, money boxes, and store prizes (prizes gets restocked fluidly)!

Teaching money management

Teaching money management

“I usually do incentives, but this time I wanted to up it and include it in their learning,” said Galvez. “So, through their learning they would be getting paid (with play money); they are motivated to do more of their goals that they already have to do … there’s more incentive.”

More incentive, indeed. With two bookcases being utilized as prize stores, items that include anything from Pokémon cards to stuffed animals to candy, and all of which are priced differently, students are eager to decide: should they save their money for a higher-priced commodity, or do they make a purchase at that moment in time? Some students have even helped pay for gifts to give other students when they didn’t have enough money to do so … an act of kindness that is truly heartwarming. Understanding the true meaning of saving, earning, how to deposit and withdraw money, and more, students are wide-eyed and engaged as ever to continue their learning journey!

“The use of their vocabulary has increased,” she said. “They are motivated. They’ll see me putting prizes out and they’re like, ‘Oh, I’m really going to get my work done,’ or, ‘I’m going to do extra; I’m going to take my computer home,’ and so it’s building that drive. They have that intrinsic motivation and so I see that!”

Looking to help local schools, invest in your community, and support educators like Susan Galvez? Make a tangible, positive impact by joining the collective giving of our Power of the Dollar® membership. Learn more at, and together, we can create pathways that lead to better lives and stronger communities.