Among those fund firms looking to ramp up their investor education, one of Fidelity's latest efforts to achieve financial literacy targeted a decidedly younger crowd.
This summer, Fidelity teamed up with summer learning and afterschool provider BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) to create a "Stock Market 101" program. The program is aimed at rising sixth and seventh-grade scholars in the BELL summer program and seeks to provide the fundamentals of the economy and the investment market. The program ran for six weeks at one Boston area school, and concludes August 13.
Fidelity has partnered with BELL since 2004 to provide support for various community education initiatives.
Company Press Release
Fidelity Investments and BELL Bring “Stock Market 101” to Boston Middle School Students This Summer
Students Analyze and Recommend Stocks as Part of BELL’s Summer Learning Program
BOSTON--BELL™ (Building Educated Leaders for Life™), a leader in summer learning and afterschool programs, has partnered with Fidelity Investments to create the “Stock Market 101” program, which is designed to teach rising sixth- and seventh-grade “scholars” in the BELL Summer program the fundamentals of the economy and the investment market. The program is one of several components of Fidelity’s ongoing support for BELL.
Every Thursday throughout the summer, BELL scholars at the Mattahunt School in the Boston community of Mattapan attended the Stock Market 101 course with mentors at Fidelity Investments, where they received basic lessons on the stock market, the economy, the life-cycle of a trade, fundamental stock analysis, as well as technical analysis and review of stocks. During the six-week program, scholars put to use their new skills by choosing a stock to follow and analyze.
The program concludes on August 13, when the scholars will share their research and analysis with their parents and their mentors and executives at Fidelity. Scholars will use graphs and PowerPoint presentations to support their recommendation to buy, hold or sell their chosen stock, based on what they have learned during the program.
“In addition to helping scholars develop basic financial literacy skills, the Fidelity Stock Market 101 program helps to open the scholars’ eyes to exciting career paths,” said BELL CEO Tiffany Cooper Gueye. “As a result, scholars can now envision themselves someday having a job on Wall Street, which instills in them the desire to set and achieve ambitious goals in life.”
“The rigor of the Stock Market course helps the scholars build a range of broadly applicable skills: judgment, decision-making, communication, analysis, team building, organizational and presentation skills, and a basic understanding of how the U.S. economy works,” said Sheila Cavanaugh, senior vice president of Community Relations at Fidelity. “These skills will travel with the scholars beyond their summer at Fidelity.”
As a leader in summer learning, BELL is serving more than 3,200 scholars this summer in seven cities. The award-winning program provides rigorous and robust literacy and math instruction, mentoring and social enrichment activities, as well as educational field trips and community service projects. BELL Summer was cited in President Barack Obama’s 2005 STEP-UP legislation as a model summer learning program, and was also part of a June 2009 Presidential event recognizing innovative programs that are transforming communities across the nation.
On average, scholars in the BELL Summer program gain three months of academic skills—as opposed to backsliding three months, as many students do during the summer. In addition, scholars cut their achievement gap in reading by 50 percent during the program.