Jennifer Howald, fourth grade teacher at Woods Elementary School, has received a Leavey Award for Excellence in Private Enterprise Education from the Freedoms Foundation and the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation for her innovative classroom project, "Economics Slam Café." Howald is one of eight recipients in the nation to be recognized in a special awards ceremony in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on May 1-4, 2014 along with receiving $7,500 and a commemorative plaque.
Howald's "Economics Slam Café" focused on the risks and rewards of entrepreneurship through rich literature and interactive lessons. Through this project, three fourth grade classes created Poemonics Production Company that made jobs for which the students applied and interviewed. For marketing purposes, students then surveyed all classrooms in the school to find out what treats would sell the best in their café. The café earned a $590 profit which the classes donated to former second grader, Alex Wallace and his family, to help pay for his medical expenses. The "Economics Slam Café" had also won Howald a Bessie B. Moore Award back in November.
Since 1977, the Freedoms Foundation and the Thomas and Dorothy Leavey Foundation have recognized educators for their innovative efforts to help young people better understand the function and benefits of America's private enterprise system.