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"Day in Towne" Experience 5th Grade Style

What fifth grader doesn’t look forward to a field trip? Even if it means doing some homework before so students will get the most out of the day.

Ask a number of students from Denver elementary schools, and they’ll tell you they don’t mind the extra homework. “I’ve been waiting to do this since second grade,” said an 11-year-old student.

What is he waiting for? The Young AmeriTowne experience and his day in Towne. This unique financial literacy program focuses on educating students early. The kids learn about various topics like supply and demand, job skills, and banking procedures.

Students also learn to give back. They are encouraged to consider donating a percentage of the wages they’ll earn at Towne, to a non-profit of their choice.

Participating fifth grade classes go through a 30-hour curriculum. It prepares them for the day-long trip. They learn about the democratic process as students’ campaign to serve in specific jobs at Towne.

Another student, who won his classroom’s Mayoral election, shared, “It was the most exciting thing we did in school.“

Students arrive for their day at Young AmeriTowne, headquartered at Young Americans Center for Financial Education in Denver. The students-turned-citizens apply the principles they’ve learned in the classroom to operate a 17-business town.

“The students instantly take their jobs seriously and focus on their duties as a Young AmeriTowne citizens,” says Melissa Castro, a teacher at Fulton Academy. “They apply real world scenarios in a way that is meaningful to them.”

“I’ve taught the Young AmeriTowne curriculum to students from two schools with very different demographics, yet the results are the same; an interest in learning and connection to real life,” shared Melissa. “Students who usually take a back seat in the classroom are taking charge and leading others.”

Each year, more than 25,000 fifth grade students visit Young AmeriTowne. As the students’ day in Towne comes to a close and they board the bus, the lessons learned will leave a lasting impression. One day they will be the leaders of our community.

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