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Jordan delivers

You would think Michael Jordan would want to take some time off after just retiring.

Instead, the former Chicago Bulls basketball star--flanked by U.S. Secretary of Education Richard W. Riley--showed up last week at a Washington middle school to unveil a privately funded $5 million grant program that rewards teachers who are working in poor communities with money for classroom materials.

Some 400 teachers around the country who create lesson plans for students in grades 6-12 that are judged to be outstanding will receive grants for $2,500 to pay for classroom supplies, computer software, and field trips, according to a spokeswoman for the project. Lessons can focus on any subject and should demonstrate high expectations for students.

The Jordan Fundamentals Grant Program, which plans to distribute the money over five years, will give grants only to teachers in schools where at least 40 percent of the students receive free or reduced-price lunches.

Funds are being made available through the National Foundation for the Improvement of Education, a National Education Association foundation, and the Jordan Brand, a division of Nike Inc., for which Mr. Jordan is a longtime spokesman.

Big winners

An investment group that can increase earnings by 107 percent in three months? That's exactly what four middle school students in San Francisco accomplished to win a stock market game.

When the "Show Me the Money" team from Westborough Middle School pretended to invest $100,000 in three small computer companies, the youngsters "earned" an additional $107,000.

Eighth graders Candice Cherk, Justin Wong, and Kevin Jeung and 6th grader Ben Cheah won $20,000 worth of General Electric Co. stock for their 750-student school in CNBC cable network's Stock Market Competition.

They beat out 300,000 other teams in December, including teams of adults and college students. They even outpaced investment professionals who entered the competition for fun.

The students learned their skills from their teacher, Steve Patane, who teaches a stock market elective class at the school and oversees an after-school club for students to compete in Internet stock market games.

What will the school do with the stock shares the team won? Like a true investor, Justin advised: "I think [the school] should sit on them for a while and fund the stock market games a little more."

--Julie Blair & Candice Furlan

Vol. 18, Issue 21, Page 3

Published in Print: February 3, 1999, as Take Note
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