Welcome to Ameritown, where kids are learning how to budget, the dangers of debt

Posted at 2:16 PM, Feb 12, 2019

Schools in Massachusetts are starting to teach young kids real life financial skills, including balancing a checkbook, how to budget and the dangers of debt.

But Franklin Elementary in Colorado has been doing this for over 20 years. The school is pulling out all the stops to teach their 5th graders what it's like to be an adult.

"At first it sounded really easy, but then when we went through it, seemed a lot harder,” says 5th grader Nate. “But we are really understanding it now."

Nate is known to his classmates as “Mayor.” That's because each student had to learn interview skills to land a job.

From accountants, to reporters to store owners, these 10-year-old students now learn how to manage their finances.

Mr. Says, a 5th grade teacher at the school, says it’s a lot of information coming at the students.

"The kids learn how to balance a checkbook,” he says. “They learn about interest. If you get a loan, they have to pay extra money back."

They are also learning about the danger of debt.

For six weeks, the 5th graders learned amazing financial life skills. Then, they have to put it to the test. How? Welcome to Ameritown. It's as close to real life as these 10-year olds can get.

The students are given a checkbook, cash and even a debit card. They spend their hard earn paycheck on medical bills, gym memberships and groceries, and each purchase comes with a lesson.

In a matter of time, the teachers say make believe will turn into real life, when these kids will face college tuition, buying a home and paying off debt.