The majority of the Stocks in the Future curriculum is taught by professional teachers during the academic school day. However, there is some flexibility in teaching SIF other ways. “If we find alternative ways of teaching a program that can have good measurable results, we most definitely considerate it,” says SIF executive director Rebecca Lange Thernes. 

This year, we found a formula that most definitely works! The students at Tunbridge Public Charter School has been having a “rich” experience led by a group of volunteers from the Maryland State Retirement and Pension system. This endeavor has been led by Beau Smith, a Senior Risk Manager from the state’s program. It’s been 2 years in the making. Unfortunately, COVID had slowed the process down but Beau and his team of six volunteers patiently waited until an opportunity became available. Enter, Tiffany Gladden, Assistant Principal and Director of Out of School Time at Tunbridge. Tiffany was open and receptive to having volunteers come from the financial world to lead the program. “This connection is an important one as our students learn firsthand from professionals, the workings of the financial world.” 

Beau and his team do a splendid job teaching financial concepts to their group. They make it fun and interesting at the same time. For example, The students received a Bessie Coleman quarter as a gift from the volunteers. From this, a connection was made to Women’s History Month and The incredible story of the first African American and Native American woman to hold a pilot’s license. “The students were excited and genuinely interested in the story,” says Beau. SIF Executive Director, Rebecca Lange Thernes describes a visit she made to the Tunbridge group this year: “What a treat! This class has a lot of personality as they performed a skit about investing in the market. They had a lot of fun being silly with their roles yet, they understood the concepts of investing, risk and diversification.”

We thank our volunteers from the Maryland State Retirement and Pension System and Tunbridge for giving our students this great opportunity. As we move into next school year, we are open to partnering with institutions that can teach SIF in creative and alternative ways. We look forward to unveiling these partnerships next school year!