As a provider of blended-learning programs, Young Americans Center delivers hands-on experiences for young people. Research increasingly demonstrates that such programs increase student motivation to learn while facilitating a deeper level of understanding (Association for Experiential Education). It’s a win-win for both teachers and students! Thanks to Janus Henderson Investors, students participating in Young AmeriTowne gain hands-on experience in civics and learn the role of a well-run local government in a free enterprise system.
Young AmeriTowne has two elected positions: Mayor and Judge. Students run a campaign for these positions at school, where they make posters, deliver speeches, and sometimes even record videos. The initial, primary election narrows down the field into a handful of candidates, and then students cast their final votes in the general election to determine the winners. This entire process mirrors the election process in the U.S.
When they arrive at Young AmeriTowne, the Mayor and Judge step foot into the Janus Henderson Towne Hall and get right to work! The Mayor’s first task is the build the Towne Hall website. Citizens can submit suggestions to the Mayor all day via a kiosk in Towne Square. Another important job for the Mayor is to issue business licenses for each of the 17 operating shops.
Meanwhile, the Judge presides over the AmeriTowne justice system. Police Officers enforce two types of laws: those standard to Young AmeriTowne and “fun laws” created at school. For example, students might need to do a dance when passing by the Radio Station or salute the Mayor when they see him/her in Towne. Any citizen caught breaking a law is brought before the judge. Instructed to listen carefully to the Police Officer and the arrested citizen, the judge issues a ruling: guilty or not guilty. Citizens who are found guilty must pay a fine.
In addition to financial support, proud sponsor Janus Henderson Investors contributes to this real-life experience by providing the business cards and posters that make Towne Hall really come to life. As they step into their government roles, students scarcely realize they are learning!