Buena Park School District Teaches Financial Literacy, Inspires Future Investors

Buena Park Middle School students are learning about shorting stocks, buying futures and fiscal responsibility thanks to a stock market game that teaches students about the ins-and-outs of Wall Street and its impact on the economy.

Buena Park Middle School math teacher Sean Hamilton is the advisor to 29 sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students who are participating in the stock market game, which teaches students about buying and selling stocks to maximize their profits. Hamilton also emphasizes the importance of financial responsibility by teaching students about the benefits of starting a savings account.

“There is a whole financial world out there that many of our students are not exposed to,” Hamilton said. “Learning how money works when you are younger will allow you access to different investment opportunities, savings and hopefully business ventures which will lead to financial success.”

The stock market game is offered through the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA), an industry trade group that represents securities firms, banks and asset management companies. SIFMA created the game to teach financial literacy to students.

Eighth-grader Robert W. made a small fortune in the stock market game by investing in GameStop before its value surged thanks to internet speculation.

“I’ve always thought the stock market was interesting, and research based off my own curiosity helped me have a little bit of prior knowledge,” Robert W. said. “The best part has to be that I get to use knowledge and experience the stock market investing way before I thought I would be able to, and experiment with different ideas because it is not real money.”

The young investors recently met with U.S. Rep. Young Kim when she virtually toured Buena Park Middle School to learn about its unique new programs. Kim spoke with many of the stock market students about how financial literacy can lead to great opportunities in the workforce, especially in regard to political careers.

Buena Park Middle School Interim Principal Dr. Monica Luther said the stock market game and meeting with Kim has provided major encouragement to her students, showing them the heights they can reach by practicing financial responsibility.

“We are supremely proud of our young investors and how they’re learning about the stock market through Mr. Hamilton,” Superintendent Dr. Ramon Miramontes said. “We are delighted that they are excelling at the concept of financial literacy and know that it will serve them for the rest of their lives.”

PHOTO CAPTIONS:

BUENAPARK_FINANCE1: Buena Park Middle School eighth-grader Robert W. shows how he tracks his stocks through the stock market game app on his tablet. Robert W. and 28 other sixth-, seventh- and eighth-grade students are participating in a stock market game, which teaches students about fiscal responsibility, savings and buying stocks and bonds.

 

BUENAPARK_FINANCE2: Buena Park Middle School eighth-grader Joseph W. reads through the business section of a newspaper, looking for new stock tips to help him during his school’s stock market game. Joseph W. and 28 other sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders are learning about financial literacy and responsibility through the use of a stock market game from Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.