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Baltimore County elementary school financial literacy class set to be featured on 'Today' show Thursday

Baltimore County elementary school financial literacy class set to be featured on 'Today' show Thursday
Flo Falatko's fifth-grade math students perform a song about personal finance at Ignite Financial Literacy Night at Cromwell Valley Elementary School on March 5. (Libby Solomon / Towson Times)

Flo Falatko’s fifth-graders at Cromwell Valley Elementary School have already learned how to trade in stocks and balance portfolios. Now this week, after the “Today” show airs on NBC Thursday morning, some of her students are set to make it on national television before reaching middle school.

“They felt like they were rock stars, and they are rock stars,” said Falatko, a math teacher at the magnet school in Towson. “They just made me so proud with their sharing and their honesty.”

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Falatko said the “Today” crew filmed in her classroom for about two hours for a segment marking Financial Literacy Month in April. Because of other news events the “Today” show was covering, the segment was delayed until May, said “Today” producer Ugonna Okpalaoka.

The segment is set to air in the 8:30 a.m. hour, Okpalaoka said.

Falatko, a former hedge fund manager who teaches math to all fifth-graders at Cromwell Valley, educates students about investing through the Stock Market Game, a simulated investment game in which students are allocated a pretend amount of money to “invest” and use real financial indicators to measure their success.

The goal is to teach kids to manage their money early to set them up for success later in life.

“It’s important to know so in the future we know how it works,” said fifth-grader Dylan Nixon, 10, during a financial literacy event in March.

In March, Falatko told the Towson Times that someone had recently asked her where she wants to be in five years.

“I have no idea where I want to be,” she said. “But I know where I want financial literacy to be: in every school in the state.”

Falatko said being featured on the “Today” show would help her achieve the goal of getting the word out.

“I hope people take the bait,” she said.

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