Byline: Patrick Garmoe Daily Herald Staff Writer
Though the focus at SS. Peter and Paul School in Cary is still teaching students to worship God, not money, the school this year entered a contest that educates students about another inevitability: The need to know about the stock market.
A crew of 12 sixth graders are competing against other schools across the country in an effort to invest and make as much fictitious money as possible on wall Street.
The program, by Smith Barney, the Wall street investment firm, taught students about stocks, NASDAQ, and factors that influence financial markets.
While the class ran only a few hours, it didn't take long before these 10, 11, and 12-year-olds were debating what would happen to oil prices should America go to war against Iraq.
"Dude, Dell went up 30 cents" said sixth-grader JP Stanley, as his hands danced all over the keyboard while he perused track records of various stocks on CNNMoney.com. But the news wasn't so good when he looked at the larger picture.
"But they've been going down for a while," he said.
His classmate, Peter Pellizzari, 12, chimed in with good news of his own. "Oh! Kimberly-Clark went up five cents."
Exxon Mobil, Pellizzari announced with glee, also rose five cents as well.
The program these two, along with 10 other students, are involved in is an effort by the investment company to teach children at a young age about the stock market, according to Lois Wollney, who taught the class and is a financial consultant with the company.
So after students learned a little about how stocks worked, and places they could go to study the market, their mission was to choose five out of a list of 25 stocks to follow for the next three months. …