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Ms. Kowalczyk from Saint Ann MO is requesting materials related to Food, Clothing & Hygiene through DonorsChoose, the most trusted classroom funding site for teachers.

Ballin' on a Budget: Financial Literacy in Teens

Help me give my students items to fill our classroom store like candy, chips, and gel pens in order to increase their financial literacy and boost motivation.

  • $193 goal

Hooray! This project is fully funded

Hooray! This project is fully funded

My Students

My school district is one of the most diverse in the state of Missouri. We provide rigorous academics, dedicated teachers, and a safe learning environment for students of many different backgrounds, cultures, and socioeconomic levels. Here, I am blessed to work with 100 young scientists-in-training and a small group of math intervention students.

I teach in a Title I School where the majority of my students need additional resources to be successful.

Because of this, I incorporate a variety of learning strategies, group work, small-group learning, and alternative seating options to ensure that each student's needs are met, right where they are.

Many of my students experience trauma; some experience homelessness. Some of my teenagers have experienced more in their 13 years on Earth than most of us will during our lifetimes. Despite these trials, my students come to school each day ready to learn and start fresh. School is their safe haven. I strive to provide a safe, comfortable, homey learning environment for all my students, regardless of need or ability.

By doing so, I hope to inspire the students to come to school each day and make their day in science class the “best day ever"!

My Project

Being a teenager is hard; it's my job to make my students' time at school a safe, encouraging place where they're challenged to reach their full potential.

My school uses a building-wide program to acknowledge and reward positive behaviors; however, regular positive reinforcement with middle school students is imperative.

These students need to be encouraged, supported, and praised each day and every day. Kind words matter, but middle schoolers really care about tangible items--especially food, to be completely honest. (Have you ever met a teenager who wasn't motivated by a snack or a candy bar?)

I currently already pass out "Caught Being Good" Coins each time I acknowledge a student making a smart choice--however, during the new school year, I will need a restock. By doing this, the students practice financial literacy skills of budgeting, saving, and responsibility for their money.

Students have the option of turning in their coins at the end of the week to buy a regular prize such as a gel pen, fruit snacks, or a specialized coloring sheet. Students also have the option to save them for something worth more, delaying the prize for something bigger and better such as a full-size candy bar (Skittles, Starbursts, Sour Patch Kids) or a bag of their favorite chips. (Hot chips are the most popular item in our classroom store!)

Having tangible coins will help users learn math skills, saving and spending wisely, and responsibility for our items—a much-needed skill in middle school! After several days of implementing this reward system, we will have the students saving their money so that they're "ballin' on a budget", and learning financial literacy in the process!

Ms. Kowalczyk
Grades 6-8
Nearly all students from low‑income households

Equity Focus

At this school, more than 50% of students are Black, Latinx, and/or Native American, and more than 50% come from low-income households. Learn how your donation to this school supports a more equitable education.

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Expand the "Where your donation goes" section below to see exactly what Ms. Kowalczyk is requesting.

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Where Your Donation Goes

Materials Cost Quantity Total
WELCH'S Mixed Fruit Snacks, 0.9 Ounce, 40 Count • Amazon Business $6.89 3 $20.67
100 Colors Glitter Gel Pen Set, 30% More Ink Neon Glitter Coloring Pens Art Marker for Adult Coloring Books Bullet Journal Crafting Doodling Drawing • Amazon Business $18.98 1 $18.98
Fun Express "I Was Caught Being Good!" Plastic Coins- Bulk (144 Piece) • Amazon Business $6.07 3 $18.21
Frito-Lay Flamin' Hot Mix Variety Pack, Cheetos Cheese Snacks, Funyuns and More, 40 Count • Amazon Business $16.98 1 $16.98
Sour Patch Kids Sweet and Sour Gummy Candy (Original, 2 Ounce Bag, Pack of 24) • Amazon Business $14.88 1 $14.88
Frito-Lay Party Mix Variety Pack, 40 Count • Amazon Business $14.13 1 $14.13
SKITTLES & STARBURST Full Size Candy Variety Mix 18-Count Box • Amazon Business $11.84 1 $11.84
Good Vibes Coloring Book (Coloring is Fun) (Design Originals): 30 Beginner-Friendly Relaxing & Creative Art Activities on High-Quality Extra-Thick Perforated Paper that Resists Bleed Through • Amazon Business $7.79 1 $7.79
Doodle Dogs Coloring Book for Adults • Amazon Business $7.76 1 $7.76

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Suggested donation to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Total project goal


How we calculate what's needed

Total project goal


5 Donors


Donations toward project cost


Donations to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Matching donations from our partners


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Match offers to help DonorsChoose reach more classrooms


Excluded support for DonorsChoose


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Project Activity

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