Stocks in the Future, a program that teaches
middle-school kids about investing while giving
them extra incentive to do well in school, is holding
graduation ceremonies this spring for 110 students
at four Baltimore-area schools.
The SIF program, which allows previously
underperforming students with good attendance and
good grades to buy and own real stocks, will honor
graduating eighth-graders at Barclay and Francis
Scott Key middle schools in Baltimore City and Deep Creek
and Dundalk middle schools in Baltimore
"This is a significant year for us," said SIF
executive director Anne Swain of the Center for
Social Organization of Schools at Johns Hopkins. "Not
only are we graduating our largest class ever,
our incentives for students are working."
A recent assessment by researchers at Johns Hopkins
demonstrated the positive impact of SIF
on student achievement. Last year's seventh-graders who
took part in the program scored 31 percent
higher on the Hopkins Short Achievement Test, which
includes reading comprehension, vocabulary and
mathematics, than did students in a control group, and
sixth-grade participants' scores were 18
"The excitement and unique nature of our efforts have
drawn notice, and we're now expanding
SIF into at least two to four additional schools in the
coming academic year," Swain said.
The scripted curriculum for SIF, developed at CSOS,
teaches strategies for earning, saving and
investing money. By attending school regularly and
improving their grades, students earn "SIF Dollars"
that enable them to buy publicly traded stocks, which they
receive when they graduate from high
school and turn 18.
"These students were identified as needing incentives
to improve school performance," said
Patricia Bernstein, the program's founder and original
funder. "Now we have data and graduates that
show it really works. We are getting additional sponsors
joining the effort, and schools are coming to
us to participate. We look forward to our future
Founded in 2000 in Baltimore, Stocks in the Future is
now in seven schools and serves 400
students in Maryland and the District of Columbia.