Johns Hopkins Gazette | March 23, 2009
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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University March 23, 2009 | Vol. 38 No. 27
Middle Schoolers Mulling Their Stock Options Through I-Hunt

By Amy Lunday

At a time when we could all use a refresher course in financial literacy, 220 seventh- and eighth-graders in Baltimore City, Baltimore County and Washington, D.C., are determining which health food company will be added to their investment portfolio during the next school year. The young investors are participating in Stocks in the Future, a three-year middle school program that uses financial life skills to capture students' attention, reinforces their academic fundamentals and raises school attendance for those needing motivation.

During this special five-week mini course called the I-Hunt Contest, the students will engage in weekly classes to learn a new category for investing money, ways to compare company performances and how to select a new company for investment. The goal of the contest will be to decide whether Whole Foods, NutriSystem, Hain Celestial Group, or United Natural Foods will be added to their investment options during the 2009-2010 school year.

Students will learn that investors group companies according to industries as a way of evaluating their performances. Each week, they will vote for their favorite companies, with the least popular option dropped from their studies the following week. At the end of the contest, the remaining company will join the current choices: Coca-Cola, NASDAQ 100, NetFlix, PetSmart, Sirius Radio, Sony, Time-Warner and Walt Disney.

Developed by education researchers at The Johns Hopkins University, Stocks in the Future teaches strategies for earning, preserving and investing money. While academics are strengthened throughout the exercises, students earn money through regular weekly attendance and improved grades. They invest their earnings in publicly traded stocks and receive those shares upon graduating from high school and turning 18.

Schools participating in the I-Hunt Contest are Barclay, Deep Creek, Fallstaff and Francis Scott Key middle schools in Baltimore and Washington Jesuit Academy in Washington, D.C.

Stocks in the Future is a nonprofit organization. The program's Web site is


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