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Kelly Mill fourth-graders take stock market contest

THE GRIND: Forsyth Central's Shelby Black

By: Joshua Sutton

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WEST FORSYTH — A team of students from Kelly Mill Elementary School can explain how the chaos of the business world is ordered by the principles of economics, such as supply and demand, scarcity and surplus, opportunity cost and voluntary exchange.

The four students — Grace Humphries, Taylor McClintock, Harmony Nix and Bridget Upchurch — won the Georgia Council on Economic Education’s Stock Market Game for Forsyth County Schools by turning $100,000 into $146,921 in 10 weeks. They were guided by teacher Stephanie Sumner.

The team is among more than 600 students and teachers invited to be honored at the 35th annual Stock Market Game Awards Luncheon at the Georgia Freight Depot in Atlanta on Tuesday. Georgia School Superintendent Richard Woods is the guest speaker for the event.

Each fall and spring, more than 30,000 fourth- through 12th grade students begin the challenge with a hypothetical $100,000 portfolio.

In teams of up to five, they use math, language arts, computer skills and ideas from almost any class to read business news, crunch numbers and research publicly traded investments likely to do well in the current economy.

They buy, sell, sell short, buy on margin and pay commission fees on stocks, bonds and mutual funds.

The team with the highest portfolio value after the 10-week period wins. A winner is selected statewide and from each public school district.

“We believe that infusing real-world learning opportunities through extension projects and competitions like the Stock Market Game prepares our students with both life skills and the knowledge to compete in a global economy,” Sumner said.

Georgia is one of the 22 states that require a high school economics course.

“It’s always exciting to see elementary students learning about economics,” said David Martin, executive director of the council on economic education. “They might be fourth-graders, but they clearly understand the economics behind sound investing, and that helped them do so well.”