Buffalo Ridge fifth graders run the “towne”
It’s official … the judge swears in the mayor at Ameritowne on Thursday, October 3.
By Jenna P., BRE Ridgeline Staff Reporter
On October 3, the fifth graders of Buffalo Ridge Elementary School went to Ameritowne, a place set up to be a town that students run and learn about economics and how to spend money wisely and live in the real world. But before any of this could take place, a mayor and a judge had to be selected.
The election happened a week before the trip to Ameritowne. As the classes and candidates assembled they were very excited. There were eight chairs each sitting a candidate. On the right were the mayor candidates and on the left were the judge candidates. Soon the first candidate for judge, Liesl, was up. As she started, her vocabulary shocked the crowd – it was incredible. Next up was Tazzie. Her speech was short but inspiring. Then Max, his was happy and calm. Kennedy was up after Max. Her speech talked about the future.
After those inspiring speeches, it was time for the mayor candidates to speak. First up was Dude, he promised a lot but encouraged no favoritism. The next candidate was Gatlin. His speech talked about the students as grown-ups in the real world. Then came Sage. She spoke about working hard and health. Finally it was Erica’s turn. She talked about the important traits of a mayor including integrity and discipline.
Right after the election, Mrs. Streich gave a final pep talk about Ameritowne. Then each class went to their rooms to vote. It was a hard decision to select the judge and mayor, but ultimately Gatlin was named mayor and Liesl was named judge.
Fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Sedersten was very excited about the opportunity Ameritowne provides students and shared her thoughts about it with the kids. “It allows students to learn financial responsibility. No matter what job you have, you will have so much fun. This will be one of your long lasting memories from fifth grade,” said Sedersten.
Finally the big day arrived. When the students walked through the open doors into Ameritowne, the first impression was that it was small but full of shops and businesses everywhere. Opening ceremonies began with a pair of gigantic blue scissors that the mayor struggled with to cut the ribbon symbolizing that Ameritowne was open for business. Each person then began the jobs they were hired for based on the interviews that occurred across the fifth grade earlier that week.
On the first break, workers received a paycheck. The checks were then cashed in at the bank for Ameritowne money. There were a variety of breaks at which time workers could buy awesome trinkets sold by each store. It was so much fun and the time went by so fast.
In the end, those who had waited all through elementary school to get to this day learned a ton and had an amazing time doing it. “It was an experience worth waiting for,” said Jenna.