Young AmeriTowne On The Road Returns to the Grand Valley

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Back by popular demand, a program called Young AmeriTowne On The Road is back in Grand Junction.

"Get to work!"

This was the motto of the day as 5th graders learned what it was like to live life as a grown up.

"I was very excited. I could hardly go to sleep last night because it was very excited," said Tuscani Ritter, 5th Grader at Independence Academy.

"In school we were learning about economics, so this is the chance to get the experience as if we were older," said Izabella Shero, 5th Grader at Independence Academy.

This is all thanks to a Denver based non-profit group called Young Americans Center for Financial Education.

"We promote financial literacy through experiential learning, as you can see in our moc town," said Chris O'Reilly, Program Director for Young AmeriTowne On The Road.

This moc town, also known as AmeriTowne, is a way for kids to learn about a wide variety of topics that they'll use in their adult lives.

"They learn about having a checking account, they learn about personal finance, keeping track of their finances and checkbooking. It also has a big team based component where they run a business and take home a bank loan. They learn the best way to monitor their expenses to finish with a profit," said O'Reilly.

The curriculum demonstrated is learned right inside of the classroom, where the teachers then place the students to which jobs they best fit.

"They go through the whole job process that an adult would do. They fill an application, go to an interview process, and then the teacher will ultimately place the job with their students," said O'Reilly.

However, they said there is one main reason they've continued to implement this program.

"It's a big pillar in education country wide, so we're doing our best to fill that void," said O'Reilly.

Young AmeriTowne will be in Grand Junction until October 27th. They'll be visiting 21 schools each day here on the Western Slope.


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