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J.J. Redick, Bank of America & SIFMA Foundation team up for the “Slam Dunk for Financial Education”

February 15, 2011

Orlando Magic’s J.J. Redick and his wife Chelsea. Photo taken by Gary Bassing.

Orlando Magic guard J.J. Redick, Bank of America and the SIFMA Foundation are making a Slam Dunk for Financial Education with Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida. The program tip-off took place yesterday at the Parramore Boys & Girls Club in Orlando.

This innovative partnership funded by Bank of America, brings the SIFMA Foundation’s 10-week Stock Market Game competition to 60 youth at three area Boys & Girls Clubs. The Stock Market Game, which is widely used by 600,000 students each year, introduces youngsters to the financial markets as they learn math, economics, and the importance of long-term saving and investing. As a part of the program, teams of 3-5 participants work together to invest a hypothetical $100,000 in real stocks, bonds and mutual funds, learning cooperation, communication, and leadership as they manage their portfolios.

Bank of America and Merrill Lynch associate volunteers will bring the content to life for Slam Dunk’s youth participants, coaching and supporting the youth teams at each of the three selected Boys & Girls Club sites – the Parramore, Universal Orlando Foundation and Walt Disney World Branches. J.J. Redick offers up his star power to the program, encouraging participants to develop life skills through this experience, including how to set goals and work towards them, how to be a team player, and most of all, to always plan for the future.

The Slam Dunk for Financial Education program is a real-world educational experience that teaches personal finance, saving and investing, and also develops youngsters’ critical thinking skills. The program is designed to arm youth with the tools and resources to help them achieve their educational, financial and career goals. It is one example of Bank of America’s support for youth financial education and consistent with the bank’s contribution of time and talent to its local communities through volunteerism.

“By supporting the Slam Dunk for Financial Education program, we believe we are making a solid investment in the future of Orlando youth. Moreover, by starting early in life, we are enabling our next generation to better understand how thoughtful financial planning and decision making can positively impact their future, particularly in prevailing through difficult economic times,” said Bank of America Market President, John Moskos. 

They also get to spend time with basketball great J.J. Redick. As part of the Orlando Magic’s generous support of the program, participants will have a rare opportunity to visit the new Amway Center and be recognized in an on-court halftime ceremony later this spring.

“It gives us tremendous pride to partner with Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, Orlando Magic, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Florida to promote financial education to youth in Orlando,” said Melanie Mortimer, Executive Director of the SIFMA Foundation. “By combining a fun and engaging educational program with an iconic basketball team and the real-world input of financial professionals, we’re capturing the hearts and minds of young people, preparing them for life, and helping them improve their knowledge and skills.”

Last year, Learning Points Associates, in conjunction with the FINRA Foundation for Investor Education, announced the results of a rigorous nationwide study examining the impact of the SIFMA Foundation’s Stock Market Game. They found that Stock Market Game participants scored considerably higher on tests of math and investor knowledge compared to their non-participating peers, and that teachers of the program also improved their financial behavior.

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