Robert Haley earns national recognition
BY: Community Papers of WNY Staff | April 14, 2011
Robert Haley, an economics and social studies teacher at Cleveland Hill High School, did the unthinkable. Both he and his students led the Buffalo Bills to a victorious win during Visa’s nationwide program with the NFL and NFL Players’ Financial Football, an online game. Financial football tested students’ knowledge of finances by using structure and rules of the NFL with fiscal education questions of varying difficulty. The contest ended the day before this year’s Super Bowl.
Because of his win and due to Haley’s fiscal knowledge he provides to his students, Visa named Haley, who has been teaching economics, government and world history for 10 years, the national innovative educator for the month of March. Haley was also featured in a nation-wide newsletter.
“We couldn’t do anything about the Bills’ standing in the NFL, but we could do something about our 27th ranking on the Financial Football leader board,” said Haley. “Interactive education is so important, such a huge motivation for financial learning, and Financial Football was a fun way to engage students in learning how to save money, understand credit cards and use them efficiently.”
“For many Americans, particularly young Americans, financial education does not begin at home and so it is critical that dynamic educators like Mr. Haley are on the front lines in the effort to make sure young people understand financial basics,” said Jason Alderman, Visa’s director of financial education. “My. Haley truly shares Visa’s longstanding commitment to ensuring that all consumers understand the importance of responsible money management.”
The innovative educator award is given each month to one or more teachers across the country that show a commitment to bringing personal finance education into their classroom. The award is part of Visa’s Practical Money Skills for Life program, an educator-developed and educator-approved program that helps students, from preschoolers and elementary school students, to teens and college students, learn the essentials of personal finance.
“This award is important to me, because it recognizes my efforts to find new, innovative, and fun ways to help students learn about the world,” said Haley. “I think students were motivated by financial football, they asked more questions and generally seemed more interested in economics. I use some lesson plans from practical money skills.com, but I also use other resources as well, such as the stock market game, National Financial Capability Challenge, and Moneyskill.org. All of these programs use computers to improve understanding about money and the economy. I like using technology to help me teach and students like using technology to learn, so it is really a win-win for everyone. It is nice that there are so many resources out there that allow this to happen.”