Jeff Davis Elementary student wins first place in InvestWrite competition | Schools
Fifth grade student, Brandon Johnson bested thousands of students from all over the country in the SIFMA Foundation's InvestWrite student essay competition about finance.
As part of the competition students were asked to analyze an investment scenario, provide a long-term financial plan and address real-world economic factors and trends. According to the Mississippi Council on Economic Education (MCEE), the competition better prepares students for their own financial futures.
“I think that the three most important things to look for in a stock, bond or mutual fund are how it has been doing in the past year, the PE ratio, and the Beta Coefficient. These things are very important when you are trying to find a supporting stock,” Johnson said, when asked to describe the three most important items you should research before buying a stock, bond or mutual fund.
Johnson, a student at Jeff Davis Elementary in Biloxi, is the Fall 2011 Mississippi First place winner. His essay was chosen through scrupulous judging by thousands of teachers and industry professionals. According to the Biloxi School District, Johnson also won a $500 college scholarship and will be recognized at the Mississippi Council on Economic Education Annual Awards Ceremony in May.
“I have enjoyed playing the Stock Market Game, and I’ve learned a lot about researching companies to invest in. One of the other things I learned about was diversification. This means that if you are going to invest your money, you should invest in a variety of types of companies and it also means that you should invest in different types of investments, not just stocks,” Johnson said.
"Teachers tell us that InvestWrite is not only an exciting contest with great prizes, but also an effective tool for students like Brandon to learn about personal finance and long-term saving,” said Melanie Mortimer, Executive Director of the SIFMA Foundation. “What’s more, InvestWrite helps students perfect their research, writing, and analytical skills, while learning important life lessons that will make their futures brighter.”
The competition marks the culminating activity for the Stock Market Game participants, officials said. Accordng to the Mississippi Council on Economic Education, the Stock Market Game makes students more financially literate.
“The Mississippi Council on Economic Education (MCEE) fully supports teacher and student participation in InvestWrite. It is a critical thinking assignment and supports the Common Core Standards for English Language Arts. All teachers enrolling their students in the Mississippi Stock Market Game are encouraged to also enroll them in the InvestWrite competition,” said Selena Swartzfager, President of the Mississippi Council on Economic Education. “Brandon’s teacher, Kim Clemons, is a high performing teacher in the MCEE network. She was a finalist for the MCEE 2011 Economics Teacher of the Year. It is not surprising that the learning environment is such in her classroom that Brandon was able to learn at such a high level, allowing him to win the InvestWrite competition.”
A study by Learning Point Associates reports that students who participated in the Stock Market Game scored higher on mathematics and financial literacy tests than other students, who didn't participate.
The study also reports that teachers who taught the Stock Market Game were more motivated to better plan their future and to engage in financial planning, research and use investment products and services. Officials with the Biloxi School District said, Johnson's teacher, Kim Clemons, is a finalist for MCEE 2011 Economics Teacher of the Year.
The competition is sponsored by the Mississippi Council on Economic Education, SIFMA Foundation and SIFMA member firms.
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