A teacher's childhood gift adds up to a money lesson for her students

Who: Melissa Hunt

Where: Blackfoot, Idaho

Job: 1st grade teacher

Sidehustle: Educational fundraiser

Website: DonorsChoose.org

Twitter: @melh5566_hunt 

One of the best things about the success of "How to Be a Financial Grownup: Proven Advice from High Achievers on How to Live Your Dreams and Have Financial Freedom " has been our ability to fund financial literacy projects at DonorsChoose.org. In just a few months we have funded 48 projects, impacting more than 5,462 students. 

One of those projects was called "You can bank on us" led by Blackfoot, Idaho based teacher Melissa Hunt. The project funded by Financial Grownup was called "You Can Bank on Us"

I received this lovely note from Mrs. Hunt:

"Thank you so much for helping us fund our Financial Literacy project! It was such a neat experience to have a spot on Bobbi Rebell's giving page. I was able to get her book, "How to Be a Financial Grownup." I would recommend it to you. You helped fill our treasure box, and the children are working hard to earn gold coins, so they can spend them at the treasure box. Later in the school year, we will switch over to real coins. Right now we are learning songs to help us identify and learn the value of coins. We have an interactive Money Cup that changes every day with our calendar routine. The children were each given a bank to make, so they can start saving their money at home. This unit is something that will continue throughout the entire school year.

I wish you could have been in our room when I pulled each bag of toys out of the box. There were oohs and ahhs and clapping and cheering. It was lots of fun to be able to provide these little trinkets for the children. Thank you again for your kindness."

I decided to do a little research on this teacher.

Mrs. Hunt with Actor Jack Black

Turns out she may officially be a full time teacher, but she puts most professional fundraisers to shame. In addition to getting dozens of DonorsChoose.org projects funded over the years, she also won a $100,000 educational grant for her school from Farmers Insurance! When she got the check, she also got to meet actor Jack Black!

She filmed her grownup moment in front of her first grade class. Make sure you watch to the end of her lesson for the big payoff!

Mrs Hunt's Grownup moment:

It happened a long time ago. I had a friend who gave me a present. she gave me a vase and she asked me to save money in the vase for special things. This is the vase that she gave me. I have filled up this vase many times. And every time the money it get to about here I take it to the bank and I cash it out and I put that money in savings. And this is just the change that we have left over at the end of the day. Maybe I went to the store and I was given some change and instead of giving that away or saving it to spend the next time I go I put all my change in this jar. And so does Mr. Hunt. And I’ve been able to save this and spend it on some neat things. A long time ago I would save it for toys. And then later I would save it for an outfit, or a trip. I have three girls. All three of m girls are married now and we filled up this vase enough times that we were able to buy each of our girls a wedding dress just with the coins that we saved. And that made it really nice when we were planning their wedding because we didn’t have to worry about the expense of the wedding dress. It was already saved. Just from the coins. 


Mrs Hunt's Lesson to Share:

One of the lessons that I have learned is that it doesn’t matter how old you are or how young you are. You can start saving money. You can just save change just like me. Put it in a jar and save it for something special and then when you’ve earned enough you can go get it. It feels really good. And so another lesson that I have learned is that saving money is really important. And I think it’s really important to have a savings account at the bank where you can keep money so that when you need it, when things come up  you have it. And I’m glad that I learned when I was just young like you tha tit is important to save money. That is my financial grownup moment!