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For the Monroe Journal

Most people consult their financial advisors for investing tips and strategies. Now you might find the top advisors at your local school. While working through adapting to the new educational environment, these teachers and students took virtual and hybrid learning to the next level by taking top honors in the Mississippi Stock Market Game (SMG).

Students from East Amory Elementary School, coached by Marcia Moore, were named Region Elementary Division Winners.

Wes Gault, Luke Stanford, Mason Helton, Dane Byars and Gavynn Poole were second-place winners in the spring 2021 Elementary School Division of the SMG. Zoey Kennedy, Addison Hampton and Jack Faulkner were first-place winners.

The simulation is one of the most effective learning tools available about the free enterprise system for students in grades four through 12. The program enables teams of students to invest a hypothetical $100,000 in the stock market over a 13-week period.

Winners are determined on the percentage return above or below S&P 500 growth. The second-place team outperformed the S&P by 7.5 percent, and the first-place team outperformed the S&P by 5.7 percent.

“The Stock Market Game has always been a virtual program and has been implemented by teachers across the state in their classrooms. Now that many students are learning virtually, this is especially important that they program can be offered virtually. We are proud of the teachers and students that made the effort to participate this past spring in the trading session. As it is a STEM program, it fits well inside many subjects,” said Mississippi Council for Economic Eeducation (MCEE) President Selena Swartzfager.”

MCEE will award prizes to each first- and second-place team in each region from each division.

The curriculum used in the SMG is correlated with Mississippi College- and Career-Ready Standards and meets the criteria of a STEM program. Teachers report that math scores increase when the SMG is used in the classroom.

SMG is an online education program used in thousands of classrooms nationwide to help teach math, social studies, business, economics and language skills. Students in grades four through 12 participate in teams and manage a simulated investment portfolio during the school year. The MCEE is doing what it can to support educators in this new environment.

SMG is made possible by the support of more than 600 securities firms, combined with grassroots support in schools and communities. It is the only stock market simulation supported by the New York Stock Exchange and the Nasdaq Stock Market.

Sponsors for the Spring 2021 SMG program are Atmos Energy, Bank First, BancorpSouth, CFA Society Mississippi, Coast Electric Community Trust, Entergy, Ingalls Ship Building, Regions Bank, the Sifma Foundation and Trustmark National Bank.