MWES/PGES Authentic Learning Experience

In a unique and immersive learning experience, second-grade students at Mt. Washington Elementary and Pleasant Grove Elementary embarked on a financial literacy journey that brought real-world scenarios into their classrooms. Beginning in January, these young learners took on roles in various careers, each with its own salary level, setting the stage for a hands-on exploration of financial concepts.

Over the course of January and February, students delved into the basics of financial literacy, earning and managing their "salaries" while learning about budgeting, saving, and making informed financial decisions. This engaging approach not only provided a practical understanding of money management but also instilled important life skills at an early age.

On February 22nd, the UK Extension Office hosted a dynamic workshop, the Dollars and Sense Program, where students could put their newfound financial knowledge to the test. Partnering with the Bullitt East chapter of the Future Business Leaders of America and members of the Bullitt East Charger Bank, the workshop transformed into a marketplace where second graders could use their earnings to "purchase" items necessary for daily living.

The event was not just about spending money; it was a culmination of weeks of learning, reflection, and collaboration. Prior to the workshop, high school students used Inkwire to peer review financial plans created by the second graders. This peer feedback provided valuable insights, allowing the younger students to revise and improve their financial plans before the Dollars and Sense event.

At the workshop, second graders engaged in thoughtful reflection with their high school peers, discussing the financial decisions they made and how their chosen careers influenced their choices in the marketplace. This interaction fostered a sense of responsibility and accountability, as well as an appreciation for the impact of their decisions.

This experience also exemplified several components of BCPS’ Graduate Profile. By engaging in hands-on financial scenarios, students developed into Effective Communicators as they discussed and negotiated their financial decisions with peers and high school mentors. They also demonstrated the characteristics of Self-Directed Navigators, taking ownership of their learning and making choices based on their career aspirations.

Principal Leslie Weihe of Mt. Washington Elementary expressed her pride in the students' achievements, stating, "This initiative has been a wonderful opportunity for our second graders to learn valuable life skills in a fun and interactive way. The hands-on experience has not only deepened their understanding of financial literacy but has also empowered them to make informed decisions."

Dionna Bickley, Principal of Pleasant Grove Elementary School, also shared her perspective, "The financial literacy journey undertaken by our second graders has been truly remarkable. It's inspiring to see our students engage with real-world concepts in such a meaningful way, setting a strong foundation for their future success."

Superintendent Dr. Jesse Bacon commended the schools for their commitment to Authentic Learning, noting, "This initiative exemplifies our district's dedication to providing meaningful learning experiences that prepare our students for success in the real world. By engaging students in hands-on, real-world scenarios, we are equipping them with essential skills that will benefit them throughout their lives."

As the second graders reflect on their experience and apply their newfound knowledge, they are better prepared to navigate the complexities of the financial world. This Authentic Learning journey has not only enriched their education but has also laid a strong foundation for a lifetime of financial responsibility and success.

Keep an eye out on the BCPS website and social media platforms for even more examples of how these types of Authentic Learning experiences are continuing to take shape in BCPS!