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An essential component of the Young AmeriTowne curriculum and day-of-Towne experience is the AmeriTowne Donation Station, which encourages youth to
participate in philanthropy. The station was first made possible by the Schlessman Family Foundation.
According to its website, the Schlessman Family Foundation was established to provide charitable support in granting opportunities for children and adults hindered by economic status, physical or mental challenges, or requiring additional educational opportunities with the intent to enable them to become self-sufficient, productive members of their community. Since its inception in 1956, the Foundation has contributed over $54 million to more than 800 charities.
The Schlessman Family Foundation partners with Young Americans to deliver YouthBiz programs, and to support the Philanthropy portion of the Young AmeriTowne curriculum.
Philanthropy was an important value to Bill Daniels, founder of Young Americans Bank, and teaching young people about “giving back” as part of wise money management is a theme across programs.
Young Americans first collaborated with The Schlessman Family Foundation in 2000 to create a philanthropy lesson for Young AmeriTowne. At school, students learn about philanthropy, study charities and draw themselves donating time, talent, ortreasure. When they arrive at Young AmeriTowne, students can make a REAL gift to a REAL Denver Metro nonprofit because The Schlessman Family Foundation matches each student donation (and the donations of student-run businesses) at 10%. At the end of the year, each of six charities receives a check from AmeriTowne students. Last year, AmeriTowne students donated $64,262 of their hard-earned AmeriTowne dollars—that’s an average of $2.42 per student (or 9.7% of their $25 salaries)!
Long-time supporter Schlessman Family Foundation allows 5th graders to experience the joy of giving back in a real, hands-on way at Young AmeriTowne in Denver.