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Program teaches kids personal finance

Erica Zucco
July 31, 2017 01:10 PM

ALBUQUERQUE , N.M.  -- When most people think about learning how to balance a checkbook, pay a loan or invest money, they think about it in their young adult or later years. But some New Mexico fourth and fifth grade students got those skills now, and the program could expand.

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Kids in the Young AmeriTowne program learn how to do a lot of things most people don’t do until after graduation.

"Getting kids to understand how to be productive citizens, explore careers, also basic money management skills," said Rich Martinez of the Young Americans Center for Financial Education. "How to manage checking accounts, how to run a business."

The AmeriTowne program, based out of Denver, gives fourth and fifth graders those tools, from personal finance to  business skills, during the school year. Nonprofit funding paid to bring the classes to Albuquerque’s Central New Mexico Community College for a week.

"So we can see if this program makes sense for New Mexicans and New Mexico's kids," said Samantha Sengal of CNM.

Students spent a week in a makeshift town on CNM’s campus, complete with a bank, hospital, TV station and snack shop. CNM hosted  the project, hoping earlier education will lead to greater success later on.

"It helps us in our larger mission of creating really financially literate adults," Sengal said. "Then when they come to us they're ready to be successful."

Now, community leaders will decide whether they should bring the program to New Mexico schools full-time.

Credits

Erica Zucco

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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