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Published: Tuesday, 4/5/2005

Fifth graders hold on to lead; portfolio up 9% from starting value

Stability reigned at the top of The Blade's Student Stock Contest, with last week's leader maintaining its top spot.

Super Stox, a group of 23 fifth graders at Fairfield Elementary School in Maumee, inched into first two weeks ago and held its edge last week even though its hypothetical portfolio dropped to 9 percent growth from a starting point of $40,000.

"They will be very delighted," said Barbara Coleman, who teaches the first-place team.

The students moved into first place during the school system's Easter break. Some learned about it for the first time yesterday, although others were aware of it.

"They were very, very excited, although they do realize this is the stock market and anything can happen," Ms. Coleman added.

The Maumee class is among 22 teams from 14 northwest Ohio schools competing in the 16-week contest for prizes that include $250 for the winning school, plus $250 in gift certificates for the winning team. Second prize is $150 for the school and third prize is $100 for the school.

The prizes are through The Blade's Newspaper in Education program, a contest co-sponsor.

The contest began Jan. 14 and ends April 29. Sky Investments, a unit of Sky Bank, is co-sponsoring the contest and is tabulating the results.

The leading team picked a portfolio of companies that make or sell products the students were familiar with. Super Stox has a mix of electronics firms: Gamestop Corp., a video-game retailer; Apple Computer Inc., Internet search engine Google Inc., and Pixar, a digital animation studio.

Two weeks ago, the portfolio inched up over 9 percent from the start, but Gamestop and Apple stocks dropped last week, so the group of four stocks was up 8.9 percent at $43,562.

In second place is Econ II from Toledo Accelerated Academy, up 8.8 percent at $43,523. The team had the contest lead for a week. In third is the Survivors team from Clay High School, which had led the contest for weeks.

Only six teams through last week had portfolios with growth.

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