Through the Voya Unsung Heroes program, Voya Financial awards grants to K-12 educators nationwide to honor their innovative teaching methods, creative educational projects, and the ability to positively influence the children they teach.
Selected from a group of more than 1,000 applicants, McBee Elementary is one of only 100 winners across the country who will receive a $2,000 award to help fund and bring to life their creative idea, Consumers in the Classroom. In addition, they will now compete with other winners for one of the top three prizes — an additional $5,000, $10,000 or $25,000 from Voya Financial.
Stasenko’s innovative teaching idea, Consumers in the Classroom, is designed to help second graders in the rural area effectively devise and run a business plan using goods or services. Students will discover first-hand how supply and demand and scarcity of resources influence changes in consumer decisions. The money will be used to bring their visions alive during Market Week. Students, teachers, and community members will preview advertisements created by the students and will be invited to participate in Market Week to actually purchase goods or services. The second graders taught by will analyze needed resources, overhead costs and daily profit; determine sample wages; and explain consumer sovereignty. Any profit earned will be used to fund each yearly project thereafter so other students have the benefit of the program.
“Voya Financial is honored to salute these outstanding teachers who have the vision to pioneer new methods and techniques in the classroom that inspire learning,” said Bernie Heffernon, senior vice president of Tax-Exempt Markets for Retirement Solutions at Voya Financial. “Each day, we help individuals prepare for a secure financial future and we are proud to recognize these men and women who prepare students for their future. We understand that teaching is one of the most important professions in the world and are pleased to help Laura, ( and second grade teachers Gail Terry and Laura Goodwin) continue making a life-long, positive impact on the children they teach.”