Difference Maker Award: Economics Arkansas gives teachers resources to bring economics to the classroom

Difference Makers Award
January 01 2022 12:00 am

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Learning to manage money can be a daunting task, but it’s a necessary one.

Kathleen Lawson is the executive director of Economics Arkansas, a non-profit that works to give grade school teachers the tools and resources needed to bring economics to the classroom.

“We know that early money habits are formed by the age of seven, so we want to get personal finance early and often and we know that economics is the science of decision making and who doesn’t make decisions every day?” Lawson said, “We love economics. We say that we take the ‘eek’ out of ‘economics.'”

While the pandemic has created challenges for most non-profit organizations Lawson says the virtual aspect is allowing Economics Arkansas to reach more teachers.

In 2020, they trained nearly six thousand teachers in all 75 counties and in almost every school district.

“We’ve had a huge increase in participation and we think that we’ve reduced that barrier for teachers to actually get to our workshops,” Lawson said.

But with the growth, comes a need for more finances, and that’s where Rainwater, Holt and Sexton is stepping in.

The law firm is awarding Economics Arkansas with this month’s Difference Maker’s award.

“To receive a surprise $1,000 gift from a company, a business doing great things in Arkansas, we were just really excited to get that phone call this week,” Lawson said.

Since Economics Arkansas doesn’t charge teachers for workshops, they plan to use this money to continue training teachers to help students understand finances.

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