Here is a list of Frequently Asked Questions that may help you understand our program better.
- How long does it take to teach the Rural AmeriTowne curriculum?
- How much does it cost to come to Rural AmeriTowne and how will we be billed?
- How many students can participate in the program?
- What kind of training do teachers need in order to teach the curriculum successfully?
- Our group is not part of a public school system. Is it still possible for us to participate in this program?
- What are the main concepts that are taught as part of the Rural AmeriTowne curriculum?
- How can parents and other adult volunteers get involved in this program?
- What can we expect on the day of our visit?
- What are the hours of Rural AmeriTowne and how long can we expect to be there?
- Can we come and visit Rural AmeriTowne before we sign up or before we come on our scheduled day in Towne?
- What happens if I need to cancel?
How long does it take to teach the Rural AmeriTowne curriculum?
The curriculum consists of 35 lessons grouped into eight chapters. Most lessons can be taught during a 40 minute class period. Depending on how many lessons are taught each day, the entire curriculum can be taught in anywhere from two to six or eight weeks ahead of your scheduled day in Towne. Teachers are given a planning table during their orientation to help them plan their teaching schedule.
How much does it cost to come to Rural AmeriTowne and how will we be billed?
Each student that comes to Rural AmeriTowne is asked to pay a fee of $15. That fee includes Rural AmeriTowne curriculum, classroom materials, teacher orientation and supplies necessary to operate Rural AmeriTowne. Your school will only be billed for tuition based on the actual number of students participating on the day of your excursion. We ask for a nonrefundable service fee of $20 and a $50 deposit when you come to pick up your curriculum materials. The balance of tuition is due and payable within sixty (60) days after your excursion date. If other payment arrangements are needed, they can be made prior to receiving your program materials by contacting Judy at 970-332-3150.
How many students can participate in the program?
To ensure the best possible experience for your students, a minimum of 40 students and a maximum of 80 students is required. If your group is too small, you may consider combining with another small group and coming together. If your group is too large, you may divide your group and come on more than one day. Both options are available and easy to accommodate.
What kind of training do teachers need in order to teach the curriculum successfully?
Teacher orientation and refresher sessions are offered during the months of July through April to provide critical information about the mechanics of the Rural AmeriTowne program and classroom materials.
Plan to attend an orientation or refresher session at least two months prior to your scheduled Towne date. To reserve your spot, contact Judy at 970-332-3150.
- A six-hour orientaton is required for all teachers who have not previously taught the Rural AmeriTowne curriculum.
- A one and one-half hour refresher is recommended for teachers who have participated previously in Rural AmeriTowne.
Our group is not part of a public school system. Is it still possible for us to participate in this program?
Absolutely! We have a wide variety of groups that participate in this program each year. Private schools, parochial schools, home school groups, and alternative schools are all able and welcome to participate. Contact us for ideas on how to make this program work for your particular group's needs.
What are the main concepts that are taught as part of the Rural AmeriTowne curriculum?
The Rural AmeriTowne curriculum is designed to teach children about the free enterprise system through a variety of lessons and activities which include:
- Basic Economics: Students get an overview of the free enterprise system learning about supply and demand, consumers and producers, and the economic process.
- Banking: A basic overview of the banking process in which students will learn about and experience the use of a checking account that they will use to write checks during their day in Towne.
- Money Management: Concepts such as budgeting and the importance of savings are discussed in this section.
- Government: Students learn how our government works by developing laws, campaigning and participating in primary and general elections.
- Communications: Students learn the real life skills of filling out job applications and going through job interviews to be hired for their positions in Towne.
- Philanthropy: Lessons on caring for your community and giving back to those in need are discussed in this section so that each person becomes a vital link in making their community a better place.
- Business Preparation: Businesses conduct staff meetings, prepare their businesses to open and have job training sessions.
- Closing Activities: Back at school, lessons on determining profitability for the business, balancing business and personal accounts with the bank, business evaluations and Employee of the Day awards are completed to finish up the program.
How can parents and other adult volunteers get involved in this program?
As you go through the curriculum, parents are a great resource for you to use as guest speakers and community resources.
- They can help with lessons such as job interviews and business meetings as you prepare your students to come to Rural AmeriTowne.
- When your school comes to Rural AmeriTowne, parent volunteers can also attend with your school to help facilitate the students' day in Towne. Those who do attend, are encouraged to attend a Parent Volunteer Orientation session to give them some background and better prepare them for what to expect on the day of the field trip.
- If volunteers are unable to attend an orientation session, they will need to be provided with a copy of the Volunteer Orientation Packet (included in your classroom materials)
What can we expect on the day of our visit?
The students arrive at Rural AmeriTowne and change from students of economics to citizens of Rural AmeriTowne.
- Before the Towne opens for business, the Mayor and Judge are officially sworn into office during the Opening Ceremony in which the Mayor gives a speech and cuts the ribbon to officially open Towne.
- Accountants write checks for employee salaries, and to pay business expenses. After these checks are written, accountants deposit shop income into business accounts in order to repay the bank loan with interest at the end of the day and hopefully make a profit.
- Employees receive paychecks to deposit into their checking accounts at the bank so that when they go on break they can spend their hard-earned cash and write checks at other businesses.
- Although businesses compete for customers' dollars, each shop serves a unique purpose in the economy. Goods and services are bought and sold by each of the 10 businesses around Towne. Each business supports one another and the economy as a whole.
- Each citizen and each business is encouraged to donate money to one of three non-profit organizations so that each member of our society is able to give back to the community and help those in need.
- Every economic decision made by participants becomes a learning experience, because all these decisions affect their business or personal finances.
What are the hours of Rural AmeriTowne and how long can we expect to be there?
Rural AmeriTowne operates between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. with the students needing to spend four complete hours at the Towne site.
Can we come and visit Rural AmeriTowne before we sign up or before we come on our scheduled day in Towne?
Yes! You can schedule an appointment to come and see Rural AmeriTowne "in action" most weekdays between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. Please call Judy at 970-332-3150 to schedule a time to visit.
What happens if we need to cancel?
Notification must be made in writing to Rural AmeriTowne, 32415 East Highway 34, Wray, Colorado 80758, and must be received at least sixty (60) days prior to your scheduled Towne date. If notification is not received, or if teachers have already received classroom materials, a cancellation fee will be charged. If your session date is canceled by Rural AmeriTowne, any monies paid to us will be refunded.