Through the grant, the six-year-old weekly volunteer tutorial program for middle school students has expanded its scope by implementing a "Kids Capital Management" segment in its curriculum for the next three years, enabling the 46 children taking part to learn aspects of finance and economics.
Working in small teams with their CGSOM mentors, the children invest an imaginary $100,000 through a computer simulation called "The Stock Market Game." As students pursue the goal of increasing the value of their team's portfolio, administrators said, they develop improved math skills and learn both basic economic principles and teamwork.
MBA student Elizabeth Betts works with Taft Middle School student Monica Carvajal in a session last week in Conte Forum. (Photo by Lee Pellegrini)
"Our tutors may not have been English or math majors, but they certainly have some very clear skills in these subjects," said CGSOM Dean Hassell McClellan. "Now, we have a way to maximize their specialized knowledge and expand the opportunities and the horizons of these children in a very unique way.
"Not only will the program enrich math, reading and computer skills," McClellan continued, "it will also expose these children to a whole set of career options that they normally might not see. It will make them think more about attending college and seeking innovative careers. We want them to consider becoming doctors, lawyers, teachers, even Rhodes Scholars. Who knows? We might even have the future head of the Magellan Fund with us now."
McClellan said that he conceived the idea for the project after giving his teenage son an introductory lesson in the stock market, then watching him explore and expand his computer-based "portfolio."
"The stock market is something that dominates our lives every day," said McClellan, "but 90 percent of these kids have no one who could do for them what I did for my son."
McClellan said that the program, which includes students from the Taft Middle School in Brighton as well as youngsters from Roxbury and Dorchester, and others involving community outreach are a natural extension for CGSOM.
"It's a unique program, but it is consistent with Boston College's overall mission," he said. "We want our students 'doing good' as well as 'doing well.'"
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