A recent $25,000 donation from Walmart is supporting a new program to reach out to high school and middle school educators hosted by the Center for Economic Education (CEE) – a cooperative venture of the Richards College of Business and the College of Education at the University of West Georgia (UWG).walmart-fund15

The workshops held throughout Georgia allow teachers to learn more about a new virtual tool called “Econmentor.” The Econmentor website will assist teachers and offer them access to instructional materials, like AP economics course outlines, study tools, and learning games – like the Stock Market Game – to engage students.

"The Center for Economics Education at the University of West Georgia is so grateful to the Walmart Foundation for the grant they provided,” said Dr. Leland Gustafson, director of the CEE. “This grant is providing the funds to share with Georgia public and private school teachers an online test bank and review of economics questions, which will provide a free and convenient way to review their understanding of economic concepts."

The first workshop of the series – held recently in Atlanta – was attended by five award-winning educators who teach general economics. The teachers were very excited about the opportunity to learn more about the Econmentor website and its applications.

“Econmentor is the brainchild of Dr. Bashu Dutt, professor of economics at UWG,” said Economics Department Chair Joey Smith. “The Walmart grant has provided Dr. Dutt the opportunity to work with some of the most talented k-12 teachers in the state, to develop workshops, and to further refine Econmentor into a tool that will enhance Georgia k-12 students' ability to practice, learn, and master economic concepts important in state learning standards and in life.”

Through the donation, the workshop and program access will be offered at no cost to educators throughout the area and will target rural and underserved populations. Through these workshops, educators will learn new skills and gain a new understanding of economics that CEE hopes will result in an increase in test scores.

“Walmart is excited to continue supporting the university and offering the areas we serve an opportunity to benefit from this unique educational platform,” said Glen Wilkins, director of public affairs and government relations at Walmart. “Our company remains committed to advancing educational programs designed to reach underserved students and teachers who want to make a positive impact in their communities.”

CEE’s goal is to help instructors teach economics to students in public and independent schools in Georgia. The center is one of 12 in Georgia and is focused on helping schools prepare students for their economic roles as workers, consumers, and citizens. CEE uses a variety of workshops and maintains contact with public and private schools in the west Georgia area. The center also holds an Annual Federal Reserve day, where Federal Reserve bank officers visit the UWG campus for a day and speak to classes and civic clubs.

This donation is just another example of how UWG colleges are working together to further students’ education, as well as the excellent partnership that the university has with local economic leaders like Walmart.

Walmart serves as the partner of the annual Women’s Empowerment Panel, now in its second year; Jason May, the assistant general manager at Walmart.com eCommerce Fulfillment, serves on the Richards College Advisory Board; and Jermaine Jackson, talent development manager - supply chain, e-Commerce Logistics - West Business Unit, has been an integral part of the ENACTUS program’s success.

The contribution to the UWG Foundation was made possible through the Walmart Foundation’s Georgia’s SGP. Through this program, the Walmart Foundation supports organizations that create opportunities so people can live better. The Walmart Foundation SGP strives to award grants that have a long-lasting, positive impact on communities across the U.S. In the last fiscal year, Walmart and the Walmart Foundation gave more than $54 million in cash and in-kind contributions throughout the state of Georgia.

To be considered for support, prospective grantee organizations must submit applications through the Walmart Foundation SGP’s online grant application. Eligible applicants must have a current 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in order to meet the program’s minimum funding criteria. Additional information about the program’s funding guidelines and application process are available online at http://foundation.walmart.com/apply-for-grants/state-giving.

Posted on Monday, March 23, 2015