SOURCE: BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life)

July 07, 2008 09:00 ET

Fidelity Investments Launches Stock Market Made Easy Workshop for BELL Scholars at Mattapan Elementary School

BOSTON, MA--(Marketwire - July 7, 2008) -


    What:    Kick-off of BELL-Fidelity Stock Market Made Easy Class
             for Mattapan elementary students.
    When:    July 10, 2008, at 1:30 p.m.
    Where:   Fidelity Investor Center, Congress Street

Students from the Mattahunt Elementary School participating in the BELL (Building Educated Leaders for Life) Summer program will have an interesting twist in their answers to the question, "What did you do on your summer vacation?" The students, who BELL calls scholars, will be trading stocks and bonds as part of an innovative financial literacy program developed by Fidelity Investments, lead sponsors of the BELL Summer program at the Mattahunt School.

BELL, a Boston-based nonprofit with educational summer and afterschool programs in Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, New York City and Springfield, Mass., is partnering with Fidelity Investments to launch a financial literacy class for elementary students called Stock Market Made Easy. The six-week program gives a group of rising 5th and 6th grade students a firsthand introduction to the basics of investments taught by experts in the field. For one afternoon each week, BELL students from the Mattahunt will explore investment-related topics including stock analysis, trading and capital markets. Scholars will apply lessons they learn in the classroom to a series of activities, field trips to local investment operations around Boston, and during an exit interview with a Fidelity portfolio manager.

"This hands-on approach provides the BELL scholars with an idea of what people in the financial community do. And, we try to reinforce and make real some of the math concepts they are learning about in the BELL summer program," explains Jennifer K. Brown, Fidelity Executive Vice President. "Students will gain a basic understanding of the stock market and then become very involved in picking a stock. At the end of the six-week cycle, they decide whether to 'buy, hold, or sell' the stock based on the analytical techniques they learned over the course of the summer."

"If children aren't engaged in learning activities, they fall behind academically during the summer," said Earl Martin Phalen, BELL Co-founder and CEO. "This slide is even more pronounced for children from low-income communities. A high-quality summer learning program like this helps children keep up and get ahead while they explore new talents and discover the joy of learning something new -- like trading stocks and bonds."

On Thursday, July 10, cities across the country will celebrate Summer Learning Day, to showcase the importance of high-quality summer learning opportunities in the lives of children and their families. Summer Learning Day is sponsored by the Center for Summer Learning at The Johns Hopkins University (www.summerlearning.org). In Boston, BELL will kick-off the first session of BELL-Fidelity Stock Market Made Easy program attended by participating students from the Mattahunt Elementary School in Mattapan. BELL's Earl Martin Phalen and Fidelity's Jennifer Brown will welcome students at Fidelity's flagship Congress Street Investment Center, where students will see the stock ticker and experience the whirlwind of activity on the trading floor.

This year, BELL joins summer learning advocates from across the country urging Congress to provide $50 million to fund STEP UP (Summer Term Education Program for Upward Performance), the first federal initiative to exclusively target summer learning as a strategy to close the achievement gap. If funded, the pilot program would provide at least five weeks of summer programming for more than 30,000 elementary and middle school students in high-poverty communities. If Congress approves the funding, summer programming could be provided by local educational agencies, nonprofit providers, summer enrichment camps and others.

According to the Center for Summer Learning, research shows that all children experience learning loss when they don't engage in educational activities during the summer. "There are many simple, low-cost things parents can do to make sure their children are active and engaged this summer," said Ron Fairchild, executive director of the Center for Summer Learning at Johns Hopkins. "Finding out what interests your children will help keep them motivated."

SUMMER LEARNING TIPS: HOW TO MAKE THE MOST OF SUMMER

The Center for Summer Learning encourages parents to make the most of
children's summer break with the following suggestions:

     -- Locate a summer program. There are high-quality summer camps and
        programs in almost every price range. Camps offered by schools,
        recreation centers, universities and community-based organizations
        often have an educational or enrichment focus.

     -- Visit the library. Find out what interests your child and select
        books on that subject.  Participate in free library summer
        programs and make time to read every day.

     -- Take educational trips. These can be low-cost visits to parks,
        museums, zoos and nature centers.  When planning vacations,
        consider those with educational themes.

     -- Practice math daily. Measure items around the house or yard. Track
        daily temperatures.  Add and subtract at the grocery store.
        Cooking is a chance to learn fractions. Every day experiences can
        be fun and interesting, while giving kids opportunities to learn
        the skills they need.

     -- Get outside and play. Limit television and video game time, just
        as you do during the school year. Intense physical activity and
        exercise contribute to healthy development.

     -- Do good deeds. Students learn better and "act out" less when they
        engage in activities that aid in their social-emotional
        development, such as community service.

     -- Keep a schedule. It makes sense to continue daily routines during
        the summer and to continue to provide structure and limits. The
        key is providing a balance and keeping kids engaged.

     -- Prepare for fall. Find out what your child will be learning
        during the next school year by talking with teachers at that
        grade level. Preview concepts and materials over the summer.

About BELL

BELL, founded in 1992, is one of the nation's leading providers of quality after school and summer educational programs. It is committed to enhancing the educational achievements, self-esteem and life opportunities of children living in low-income, urban communities. BELL serves more than 11,000 children annually in schools throughout Baltimore, Boston, Detroit, New York City and Springfield, Mass. Please visit www.bellnational.org for more information.

About Fidelity Investments

Fidelity Investments is one of the world's largest providers of financial services, with custodied assets of more than $3.4 trillion, including managed assets of more than $1.6 trillion as of May 31, 2008. Fidelity offers investment management, retirement planning, brokerage, and human resources and benefits outsourcing services to 24 million individuals and institutions as well as through 5,500 financial intermediary firms. The firm is the largest mutual fund company in the United States, the No. 1 provider of workplace retirement savings plans, the largest mutual fund supermarket and a leading online brokerage firm. For more information about Fidelity Investments, visit www.fidelity.com.

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