Principals' Memo No. 1010-14

Department of Education

December 2, 2014

TO:  Principals

FROM:  John W. Haun, Chief Academic Officer/Assistant Superintendent for Instruction

SUBJECT:  Reading Makes Cents Program

The Virginia Department of Education is pleased to announce Reading Makes Cents, a K-3 financial literacy reading initiative.  Participating schools will receive three free books for their library if they read at least one of the featured books to a grade level and promote the K-3 reading program to students.  One school in each region will also win $500 worth of books for their library if they have the highest percentage of students participating in the reading program.

Kindergarten through grade 3 students can compete by reading at least five books (or have them read to him/her) from a list of 30 books.  Students then submit an entry form by April 20, 2015, indicating the books they read with a sentence about their favorite book.  From a drawing of all entries, two students in each region will be selected to receive Virginia529SM inVESTSM accounts with an initial balance of $529.

The Reading Makes Cents Program encourages reading and reinforces the K-3 economic strand in the History and Social Science Standards of Learning, as well as promotes saving for college.  Suggested lessons, activities, and teacher workshops are available to assist teachers and librarians in understanding the concepts and presenting them to students in a meaningful and engaging manner.

This program is presented by the Virginia529 College Savings Plan and the Virginia Council for Economic Education with input and support from the Virginia Association of School Librarians. 

For more information and applications for librarians and students, visit the Reading Makes Cents Web site at

For more information about Reading Makes Cents, please contact Sarah Hopkins Finley, director of programs, Virginia Council on Economic Education, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 827-1211; or Betsy Barton, specialist for history and social science, Office of Humanities and Early Childhood, by e-mail at or by telephone at (804) 225-3454.