NIU Center for Economic Education honored seven District 204 fifth grade students who took national honors in the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA) Foundation’s InvestWrite Essay Competition on March 15, 2013. InvestWrite is a national essay writing competition associated with participation in the Stock Market Game™. Students in grades five through high school may compete in this essay competition, which challenges students through a writing prompt to choose a publicly traded company and analyze whether the company would make a good long investment. Ten national winners are in each division: elementary, middle and high school. Sharon Phares’ students from Fry Elementary were as follows: Rachel Kelly, first place; Nicholas Siodlarz, second place; Mollie Valek, fifth place; Dayton Melaniphy, sixth place; and Luke Diefenderfer, seventh place. Fifth grade students from Kaye Kooi’s classroom at Spring Brook Elementary also placed in the national finals: Eva Lindell took fourth place, and Ila Gupta took eighth place. First and second place winners won a mini notebook computer and a digital camera plus a pizza party and a plaque for their class. Fourth through tenth place winners and their teachers received a $50 gift card. The teacher of the first place winner received a subscription to Wall Street Journal, $750 toward professional development or classroom materials, and a school trophy. The teacher of the second place winner received a subscription to Wall Street Journal, $250 toward classroom materials or professional development, and a school trophy.
Through this contest, students in District 204 demonstrated their ability to communicate and understand financial concepts that they learned through the Stock Market Game™. Through the financial fitness training students practice decision-making skills which will eventually transfer to college and career readiness.