Vanguard launched its My Classroom Economy program in March 2011 and as of June 2013, it had reached an estimated 1,320 schools in 44 states, assisting 1,760 teachers in providing a personal financial literacy education to 61, 750 students.
The experiential learning program simulates a participatory economic system for students and provides a real-world personal finance education while meeting Common Core curriculum standards. As part of the program, students take on classroom jobs to pay rent for their desks. Those who save well and earn extra through taking on additional jobs or obtaining good grades can bid on rewards and other benefits in classroom auctions. High school students can choose to insure their desks and even invest their savings, thereby gaining insight into the experience of investing in the stock market.
My Classroom Economy was based on a program created by Rafe Esquith, a Los Angeles teacher, to teach his fifth-grade students financial responsibility through fun, experiential learning. Vanguard employee volunteers with expertise in design, writing, curriculum development, project management, and web design built on Esquith’s ideas to create an online program for K-12 teachers.