HARRISONBURG — For the first time, J. Frank Hillyard Middle School has received the National Middle School Financial Fitness Award from Family, Career and Community Leaders of America.
The school’s FCCLA group will receive the award at the FCCLA National Leadership Conference in San Antonio, Texas, in July.
“I was very pleasantly shocked,” said Tammy Dean, a family and consumer science teacher at JFHMS.
FCCLA is a national organization with more than 5,500 member chapters. Its mission is to help students develop as leaders and prepare for careers.
Students raised money by selling Yankee Candles and holding a “hat day” at school, where students could pay $1 to wear a hat in school for the day. They raised about $350 and spent the money in February on a party for FCCLA members, decorating students’ lockers and holding a dessert buffet for faculty and staff members.
“We had been teaching about budgeting and how easy it is to get off track financially,” Dean said. “We talked about writing checks and banking and what credit does, so they had the opportunity to see what it’s like to stay within a budget and still have a successful program within the school.”
Two students will go to the conference to receive the award and pick up a $1,000 check — Dean does not yet know what the club will do with the money — and also present about their successes to other FCCLA students and advisers. Their project will be used as a model for other Virginia FCCLA groups for the rest of the year.
“I’m very proud of my students and the results of their project,” Dean said. “I love the FCCLA national programs because it gives the students the opportunity to apply what they’ve learned in a real world-situation.”
Contact Kassondra Cloos at 574-6290 or firstname.lastname@example.org