“Have you ever done anything like this before?”
This question was asked to a group of 5th graders from Slavens Elementary School as they patiently waited in line to make a deposit at KeyBank in Young AmeriTowne. All said they had waited in line before. A few said they had even been to a bank with their parents. But only one student, Crystal*, said that she had done anything like Young AmeriTowne before.
This unique learning environment is only possible because of generous community support. A long-time partner in this work is KeyBank, which has provided hands-on learning opportunities at Young Americans Center for a decade. In addition to their support of the Young AmeriTowne Bank, KeyBank also sends AmeriTowne On the Road to small schools in the Denver metro area and bolsters youth businesses by sponsoring the Spotlight on YouthBiz Stars business competition.
What makes this learning so powerful is its direct correlation to the real-world. Slavens Teacher Anne Dailey has brought her students to Young AmeriTowne for the last three years because it provides such relevant experience in finance. “Young AmeriTowne is a great conversation-starter with my students,” she said. “I even use it with my children at home.”
Students are similarly impressed. “I’ve never done anything where you have a job and a paycheck,” said 10-year-old Kayden*, who’s wearing a Fitness Center t-shirt. “In third grade, I earned money in class for doing good things, but this is really awesome.” Crystal* remembered doing something similar in a different state when she was younger. Fourth grade maybe. “I got some job experience there,” she said, “but we didn’t get to buy things or anything.”
Thank you, KeyBank, for providing a one-of-a-kind day that students won’t soon forget.
*Names have been changed to protect the identity of minor students