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Students from Hygiene Elementary in Loveland were in for a real treat last week. When they visited Young AmeriTowne On the Road, there was not one, but two Mayors there to greet them: Greeley Mayor John Gates and Young AmeriTowne Mayor, 14-year-old Aiden Wilson.
AmeriTowne On the Road, presented by CoBank, is a portable version of the flagship Young AmeriTowne program that has existed in Denver since 1990. Housed at Aims Community College from February 5-9 this year, On the Road provided hands-on financial literacy to 125 students from northern Colorado. During the program, students learned about free enterprise, civics, personal finance and workforce readiness. The culminating experience was a day running AmeriTowne, a town that includes a Towne Hall, Medical Center, Newspaper and Snack Shop.
The presence of Mayor John Gates made the Towne experience even more real. Addressing the AmeriTowne citizens from Hygiene at the beginning of their day, Greeley Mayor John Gates pointed out how lucky students were to receive hands-on learning in financial concepts at such a young age. Instead of learning “by trial and error” as adults often do, Gates said, students have now this opportunity as fourth or fifth graders. Education is an important issue for Mayor Gates because in addition to his role as Mayor, Gates also serves as head of security for Greeley schools.
AmeriTowne On the Road expands learning beyond the classroom. This type of learning is powerful for students because their experience reinforces the concepts and lessons taught by their teachers and parents. Stacie Datteri, Assistant Superintendent of Academic Achievement at Greeley-Evans School District 6, agrees. “I’m excited to blend Young AmeriTowne On the Road within the learning environment we’re developing for Greeley students,” she says. “Teachers appreciate the opportunity to bring real-life experiences into the classroom for their students.”
For New Vision Charter School teacher Megan Rudolph, who’s 4th graders also participated in Greeley this year, the program is perfect. She says, “It is a real world, hands-on application for the students that they actually remember year after year. I would absolutely recommend On the Road to other educators.”
AmeriTowne On the Road will return to northern Colorado in February of 2019. For more information about how to participate, contact Towne Director Chris O’Reilly at firstname.lastname@example.org or 303-320-3214.