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Schools Notebook: A stock market win

In Westbury, Powells Lane Elementary School students have proved their stock market savvy for the fifth straight year.

Two teams from the school were first-place winners earlier this school year in the Long Island regional elementary division of the Stock Market Game, an online simulation competition that give kids a chance to invest a hypothetical $100,000 in a fictional financial portfolio.

The teams were honored for their efforts last month at a district Board of Education meeting and will also be honored at an awards ceremony hosted by game representatives in June.

"The money is fictional, but the excitement and knowledge is real," said Patrick Yula, a retired teacher and team adviser for Powells Lane. "My philosophy is to buy and hold. I don't let my students buy and sell over and over, because I don't want them to learn bad habits."

Yula said the two teams -- which vied in separate 10- and 15-week competitions -- yielded a roughly 30 percent return on investments by mostly focusing on exchanged-traded funds like energy, mining and material and small-cap stocks.

The first-place team in the 10-week session consisted of fifth-grader Hector Salinas and fourth-grader Yerlin Sanchez. The winning 15-week team was fifth-grader Jamie Lemus and fourth-grader Usaiyah Smith.

Powells Lane also had second- and third-place teams featuring students Cristian Cortes, Quiana Funchess, Natalie Molina, Daniela Polidore, Jordan Redd and Dylan Sanichar.

"This was a new field to me," Molina says. "I learned to save a lot, spend a little and invest."

The Stock Market game is coordinated by the Foundation for Investor Education, a nonprofit dedicated to developing and providing learning resources for investors of all ages.

GREAT NECKYeshiva Olympiad

A 15-student team from North Shore Hebrew Academy in Great Neck finished third among nine tri-state area teams last month in the Yeshiva Science Olympiad at the Touro College in Kew Gardens Hills.

The Olympiad -- sponsored by Touro's Lander College for Men and the nonprofit Jewish Education Project -- was designed to test teens' knowledge of science, technology and engineering through questions and tasks such as building model vehicles and wooden towers.

Other Nassau County schools to compete were Hebrew Academy of Long Beach, DRS Yeshiva High School of Boys in Woodmere, and Stella K. Abraham High School for Girls in Hewlett Bay Park.

JERICHORed Watch Band

Twenty-five students from Jericho High School recently learned CPR and alcohol emergency training through the Red Watch Band Program, a two-day course designed to prevent toxic drinking deaths by teaching teens how to handle emergencies and summon professional help. The national program was launched by Stony Brook University in 2009.

For participating in the four-hour training, each student received a red watch to symbolize a "band of students" who are trained to "watch over one another," school officials said.

COUNTYWIDEDA poster contest

Five Nassau County students have been named first-place winners for their schools in an anti-violence poster contest coordinated by the Nassau County district attorney's office. The contest was designed to reinforce positive conflict resolution for kids, self-confidence, and awareness of the consequences of destructive decision-making, county officials said.

Winners were Brianna Doe of Roosevelt Middle School, Kerani Davidson of Alverta B. Gray Schultz Middle School in Hempstead, Alexander Guevara of Westbury Middle School, Luzkairy Romero of Lawrence Road Middle School in Uniondale, and Lynda Tinglin of Dodd Middle School in Freeport. Each was awarded a Nintendo Wii video game console.

ISLANDWIDEScholarship winners

Eleven Long Island students were among some 800 black high school seniors nationwide to win $2,500 achievement scholarships from the National Merit Scholarship Corporation based on academic excellence, teacher recommendations and SAT scores. Winners were:

Baldwin: Michael Schroeder of Baldwin High School; Brentwood: Willie Dawkins of Brentwood High School; East Meadow: Norman Mathews of W. Tresper Clarke High School; Middle Island: Caleb Amponsah and Davida Bynum of Longwood High School; Mineola: Nathaniel Joseph and James McCaffrey of Chaminade High School; Plainview: Bechir-August Pierre of Plainview-Old Bethpage JFK High School; Smithtown: Erin Purdie of Smithtown High School East; Angelina Seffens of Smithtown High School West; Westhampton Beach: Matthew Floyd of Westhampton Beach High School.

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