Best Real-World Service for Ten-Year-Olds (2005)

Young AmeriTowne

Face it: Most elementary-school field trips provide less practical information than the average episode of Fear Factor. Not so at Young AmeriTowne, a daylong, hands-on event specifically designed to teach fifth and sixth graders something about the grownup world around them. Students must interview for positions in the mini-community's government and business sectors, then hold their own on the job, running TV or radio stations, putting out a newspaper, acting as judges, police officers, or even mayor. The program, run under the auspices of the Young Americans Center for Financial Education, has become so popular that a new branch recently opened in Belmar to supplement the original base in Cherry Creek. That's great, since nearly every kid who visits Young AmeriTowne actually learns something along the way. What a concept.


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