Last spring students in grades 4-6 at Brighton Adventist Academy, HMS Richards SDA School, Mile High Academy, and Vista Ridge Academy participated in a special curriculum project called Young AmeriTowne, which is part of an organization designed to improve the financial intelligence of young people.
Young AmeriTowne is a 37-lesson curriculum covering basic economics, banking, money management, government, communications and philanthropy. Students write resumes, interview for jobs, learn how to write checks and balance their accounts, and many other skills needed to succeed in today’s world.
All four schools came together in the culminating activity—a daylong visit to the organization’s headquarters in which a 17-business “town” is located. This is far more than your average field trip. Each “citizen” has a specific job, gets paid, has a bank account, and has city rules and ordinances to follow.
While the town was miniature, the experience was not. Many students were surprised at how hard it is to have a job and responsibilities. “Being an adult isn’t easy,” said Michael from Brighton Adventist Academy. “It’s hard to keep track of money and to stand up to the pressure!”
Students realized that they were learning, and they had fun doing it. “I loved it,” said Katie from Mile High Academy, “because usually the adults boss us around. But at AmeriTowne we were the bosses.”
This program is only available to Rocky Mountain Conference schools every other year. We hope that during the 2015-16 school year we can have more of our Adventist schools across the Front Range join in this learning process and make some new friends, too. For more information, email the Education Department office at email@example.com or go to www.yacenter.org.
Kelly Waller is an administrative assistant in the RMC Education Department.