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Students learn personal finance skills with Stocks in the Future

901 S. Bond St., Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231

September 13, 2010

Financial literacy won’t be a required subject in Maryland’s public schools until September 2011, but several hundred students in the Baltimore area have already begun their studies, thanks to Stocks in the Future, an enrichment program that teaches middle-school students money management strategies while giving them extra incentive to do well in school.

Currently 380 students at 8 middle schools in the greater Baltimore area and Washington, D.C., take Stocks in the Future classes. The three-year curriculum for SIF, developed at the Center for Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins University, targets students who need extra incentives to improve their school performance. This supplemental program whose purpose is also to improve attendance through financial incentives, offers sixth, seventh and eighth graders in the stock market while reinforcing educational fundamentals.

As they learn, students earn money by attending school regularly, and improving grades in reading and mathematics. With the potential for earning 80 SIF dollars each year, students purchase publicly traded company stocks they’ve studied. Personal portfolio performances are tracked regularly on the SIF Web site. When students graduate from high school and turn 18, stock ownership is legally transferred to their names. For students enrolled in SIF, attendance improves by two weeks over their peers who are not involved with SIF; absenteeism among fifth graders is lowered; and on Hopkins Aptitude Tests, scores are better than control groups. Stocks in the Future is a nonprofit organization. The program’s Web site is http://www.stocksinthefuture.org.

Middle schools in Baltimore offering SIF are Arlington, Barclay, Fallstaff, Francis Scott Key, John Ruhrah, and Thomas Jefferson; East Middle School in Carroll County; and Washington Jesuit Academy in Washington, D.C.

Classes begin on Monday, Sept. 20. Members of the media interested in learning more or visiting a school in their coverage area may contact Pat Bernstein, the program’s founder, at 410-516-6882, or pat@stocksinthefuture.org.


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