Left to right, Marsha Masters, associate director of Economics Arkansas; Jessica Talley, 2021 Bessie B. Moore Award winner; John Ward, superintendent of Magnolia Schools; and Dr. Jeni Logan, SAU Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Economic Education and Research.

East Side Elementary School teacher Jessica Talley was recently surprised at a pep assembly given in her honor.

Surrounded by the second grade student body, East Side teachers, and District personnel, Talley was recognized as one of five Economics Arkansas' Bessie B. Moore award winners for the 2020-2021 school year.

Marsha Masters, associate director of Economics Arkansas, presented Talley with the "Bessie" award and a check for $1,000.

Economics Arkansas launched the Bessie B. Moore Awards program in 1995 to honor exemplary teachers for successfully developing outstanding economic and personal finance classroom projects.

Arkansas educators in grades PreK-12 may enter the program by submitting written descriptions of their creative projects. These projects are reviewed and judged by an independent panel of economic education specialists. The winners receive $1,000 cash awards, statewide recognition and "The Bessie."

During the Magnolia READS financial literacy campaign in the spring of 2021, Talley used her project, “Billy Sure Could; We Sure Can, Too!” to integrate economic concepts into her classroom lessons. Her K-2 students participated in various activities to learn about the world of finance and economics.

Economics Arkansas (through the Arkansas Council on Economic Education) is a private, non-profit, non-partisan educational organization founded in 1962 by Dr. Arch Ford, with Dr. Bessie B. Moore as its first executive director, to promote economic literacy in Arkansas.

Its mission is to equip PreK-12 schools with standards-based resources and professional development to teach economics, personal finance and the free enterprise system. It uses practical, innovative and inspiring methods so that Arkansas students can master an understanding of economics and personal finance and apply that knowledge for success in the free enterprise system.

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