Each year, the Send-a-School Project affords low-income schools an opportunity to participate in the Young AmeriTowne and International Towne educational programs. A valuable partner in this work is CliftonLarsonAllen Foundation, which provided scholarship funds for 504 deserving students last year.
Why is this learning so valuable? Researchers are able to demonstrate that financial literacy “reduces the likelihood of being financially fragile by more than 6 percentage points…above and beyond the effects of educational achievement.” (NEFE July, 2018) What’s more, experiential learning, like the learning that takes place in AmeriTowne and International Towne, is especially effective at educating low-income youth. According to the National Dropout Prevention Center, “numerous research studies have shown the value of active learning, particularly in improving the achievement level of the lowest-performing students and minorities.”
The value of this type of learning is confirmed by the students who participate. “At the end of the day you’ll want to go back. I feel great about going into the real world,” writes 10-year-old Gabby after participating in Young AmeriTowne with Achieve Academy, a school where 74 percent of students qualify for free/reduced lunch. Hailey, also 10, participated in the program with Kemp Elementary where 85 percent of students qualify for free/reduced lunch. She commented, “Now I will be able to balance my money, use it responsibly, and be able to understand responsibility in work.”
The mission of the CliftonLarsonAllen Foundation is to “promote and support diverse individuals and organizations by connecting networks, advancing work readiness, and creating career opportunities.” Young Americans Center for Financial Education is grateful for the support of the Foundation which enables both organizations to provide real-world learning opportunities for all youth, regardless of background.