BY NICOLE WEN, DECA
Many people overlook the month of November. During October there is Thanksgiving and Halloween, and during December there is Christmas. However, November has no significant holidays. All the kids are running low on candy, and it’s much too early for Christmas jingles. The members of Milton District High School’s DECA chapter were very busy however, as November is DECA month. My group, consisting of Kiza, Rabia and I, planned and executed many events promoting financial literacy. Our goal was to encourage students to manage their money wisely, especially those who had part-time jobs, and make well informed decisions regarding investments.
Before we implemented any of our activities, we surveyed some of our fellow grade 12 classmates. We discovered that 63% of the students surveyed worked part-time, putting in an average of 14.5 hours per week towards their jobs. This meant that a majority of the students had a steady income, and a general educating of the public seemed quite necessary.
Our first event was conducted in our own DECA chapter. Many members were still unfamiliar with each other, so the event was both a lesson and an icebreaker. To engage the audience, we decided to make a game of jeopardy for the students to play. The categories included miscellaneous DECA knowledge, stocks and bonds, accounting, and others. By the end of the game, the team members collaborated and many students were surprised at how little or how much they knew about each topic.
On the 31st of October, we implemented our “Spooky Stock Challenge.” The purpose of this challenge was to gather students at Milton District and encourage them to participate in a challenge related to stocks and investments. During a common lunch period, we set up a booth in the main hallway. Our question to students was to predict the price of a stock at a later time given the value of it at 12:00 that day. Many students spent time predicting a reasonable value, wrote down their guesses on small pieces of paper and folded them to hand over to us. At the end of the day, we checked the value of the stock and gave the person with the guess closest to the actual value a prize. Through this activity, students learned that the value of stocks fluctuate all the time, and a reasonable prediction comes only with experience in stocks and investments.
A main lesson we taught was focused towards a grade 12 Economics class. Students already had some degree of background knowledge on the subject of investment, and many were learning to manage their money. The beginning of the seminar was very general, giving common finance definitions and comparing different investment methods. Towards the end however, we educated students about the benefits of stock investments, targeting Exchange Trade Funds specifically, and gave them a general picture of passive versus active management. Coupled with the class curriculum, students were able to absorb the information and become more informed financially.
November is not over yet, and we have a final project yet to be revealed. Please keep an eye out for upcoming financial literacy promotions!