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Anne Kipp, second-grade teacher at Model Laboratory School, and Rebecca Reister, fourth-grade teacher at Kirksville Elementary School, recently received Learning for Life Teaching Awards from Central Bank and the Eastern Kentucky University Center for Economic Education.

The bank and EKU center established the annual award three years ago to stimulate and recognize development and advancement in teaching decision making and problem solving, with applications to personal finance, economics and entrepreneurship. 

Kipp taught students about the interdependence of students, families, states and nations in economics and personal finance decisions. She used a variety of activities combined with children’s literature, Play-Doh and simulations such as “Miss Kipp’s Candy Store” to provide students with practice making decisions and solving problems.  As a culminating activity, the students planned their own businesses and set up booths for the “2nd Grade Model’s Market,” where they created advertisements to increase excitement among first-graders who later attended the simulation and had the opportunity to purchase goods and services from the second-grade entrepreneurs. “Her students learned intricacies of planning and operating a business and how important it is to make sound decisions about the use of resources,” said Dr. Cynthia Harter, director of the EKU Center for Economic Education.

Reister collaborated with Family Resource and Youth Services Center (FRYSC) Director Amy Carmichael and FRYSC Corp member and certified teacher Taylor Wheatley and used the NBA’s Math Hoops program (developed by Learn Fresh) to teach students math problem solving in a quick-paced and fun setting every week during the school year. Teams selected “shooters” from NBA cards based on shooting percentages and competed to solve math problems. They could “steal” from the other team if they answered incorrectly. Students’ pre-tests and post-tests showed improvements in learning, and they were “engaged and excited” throughout the game play. “Improving skills in solving equations and comparing percentages combined with practicing accountability, teamwork and responsibility will translate into better economic and financial decision making as these students carry this learning into their daily lives,” said Harter. 

“Students of both of these engaging teachers practiced decision making that will provide a sound foundation for their future decisions about real-world concerns,” Harter added. “Central Bank and the EKU Center for Economic Education are proud to honor these educators with recognition and monetary awards to highlight their commitment to preparing Madison County students for life outside the classroom.”

For more information about the Central Bank/EKU Learning for Life Teaching Award, contact Harter at or visit

Model photo

Anne Kipp and second-graders at Model Lab

Kirksville photo

Becky Reister and fourth-graders at Kirksville Elementary