Florence 1 Schools investing program brings Wall Street to the classroom

Pee Dee

FLORENCE, S.C. (WBTW)– Florence 1 Schools students are learning to trade and invest in a new course.

The investments and securities class features technology and curriculum from the Bloomberg financial company. Florence 1 Schools is the first district in the state to offer the program.

“I think it’s really going to put Florence 1 Schools on the map for financial literacy,” said Jeff Donor, West Florence High School’s investments and securities teacher.

Students access market information through Bloomberg terminals and a real-time ticker.

“Some universities don’t have access to that,” Donor said. “If they really have a spark in finance, this really helps them out.”

Donor’s students look at statistics for different investment options and create presentations about which are more viable. The students track the options throughout the rest of the school year.

“We look at their market capitalization, how many shares they have, how many people have bought into the stock,” said Logan Young, an investing student.

Cesar Alanis, a senior, said he has taken as many business classes as possible and hopes to work as an accountant after college.

“It’s outstanding,” Alanis said. “It puts us out there and gets us that firsthand experience.”

Alanis and Young were among the first students to earn their Bloomberg certification at the Florence One Schools Board of Trustees meeting on Oct. 14. It is presented upon completion of the program’s first four modules, which cover economic indicators, currencies, fixed income and equities.

“That certification looks really good on college resumes because it says you understand the basic market concepts,” Donor said.

During Thursday’s lesson, students voted on the best real estate investment trust to put money in. Donor then bought shares to finance a class pizza party.

“If it makes more money, that means we’re going to purchase more food,” Donor said. “If it doesn’t, that might mean I’m out a couple bucks but we’re still going to make do with what we’ve got.”

The program was funded in part by a grant from the School Foundation. It is also offered at Wilson and South Florence High Schools.

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