For over 70 years, the Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation, Inc. has supported efforts to raise the nation’s level of economic literacy. Working with and funding a variety of institutions the Foundation has projects ranging from the development of National curriculum guides and standards for the schools in economics, to more focused materials for teaching economics and personal finance at all grade levels and through a variety of disciplines. The Foundation has taken a leadership role in applying new technologies to economics education including the development of a nationally broadcast educational film
series for schools and colleges in the 1950s-1980s, and computer assisted instruction in the 1990s. The Foundation has recently underwritten the development of on-line games and activities for students.
With the knowledge that even the best materials will remain unused unless the gatekeepers of the classroom feel knowledgeable and comfortable with them, the Kazanjian Foundation has invested heavily in teacher education. As an initial and longtime supporter of the Developmental Economics Education Program the Foundation helped build a network of school districts committed to initiating and enhancing economics and personal finance instruction. This work and other efforts of the Foundation helped make economics and personal finance instruction a required part of the school curriculum in 38 states.
The Kazanjian Foundation has not limited its support to only traditional K-12 classrooms. Working with the American Economic Association and other professional organizations the Foundation has helped improve economics instruction in the college classroom. The Foundation has also underwritten the development of various instruments to measure economic and personal finance knowledge and supported research to determine the most effective way to teach economics.
Understanding that schools and colleges are not the only conveyance for increasing economic literacy, the Kazanjian Foundation has invested in programs to help clergy of all denominations convey basic economic concepts to their congregations. The Foundation has also supported efforts to increase economic knowledge among social workers and their colleagues in the hopes that they in turn can improve the basic personal finance skills of those they serve.
Though pleased with the success of its efforts in economic and personal finance education to date, the Foundation is none-the-less determined to further its mission set by Calvin K. Kazanjian, the founder and first president of Peter Paul Almond Joy.
With this in mind, the Trustees of the Calvin K. Kazanjian Economics Foundation has developed four concise areas of focus so to guide those interested in applying for the current grants designed to achieve a more prosperous society through economics and personal finance education:
Updating existing widely used curriculum or its technology
Creating or implementing innovative curriculum, program or technology solutions
Generating Excitement or Demand for economic education