Students attend financial literacy program
November 12, 2009
After seven weeks of training and instruction, the East Grand Middle School 6th grade class spent a day in Denver last month at the Young American’s Bank.
This facility houses a student-run city called Ameritowne. At the town, students ran a free-enterprise economy that consisted of 17 businesses. Some of these businesses were a snack shop, television station, a bank, medical center, police department, travel company, and a post office to name a few. The town even had its own elected mayor and judge. Business consisted of a manager, an accountant, and the workers required to run the shop effectively.
This program is part of the East Grand Middle School financial literacy curriculum, which helps meet the state standards for economics. During their course work, the students were given a guiding question, which was: “How does the free enterprise system of business affect the economics of the United States?”
In order for students to be able to answer this question, they were taught seven major topics about free enterprise: choice and competition, the role of government, philanthropy, the basics of investing and budgeting, resources, supply and demand, and advertising techniques.
The week before the students went, they wrote persuasive essays and filled out applications for their desired job. After jobs were filled, the students went through an extensive training program. Managers were taught how to be effective leaders, accountants were taught how to write checks and create profit/loss statements, and finally, the workers were taught how to provide quality customer service. At the town, students received paychecks and had to manage their personal finances by using checkbooks and debit cards.
As one student stated, “Being an adult is really hard!”
A few days later, after returning from Ameritowne, students received bank statements and had to reconcile their checkbooks. Finally, students were able to see if their businesses made a profit or took a loss.
In order to make this program happen, it required $20 per student as an entrance fee and 17 parent volunteers. Students were able to participate in this learning opportunity because of the financial contributions of Grand Mountain, Wells Fargo, and Millennium Banks. This brought the cost down to $13 per student.
EGMS would like to thank our local banks and our parent volunteers who made this experience possible.