Simulated city offers realistic lessons about money - CBS46 News

Simulated city offers realistic lessons about money

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Discovery Center at the Georgia World Congress Center Discovery Center at the Georgia World Congress Center

Some metro Atlanta middle school students are getting hands-on lessons on managing money, thanks to a brand new simulated town center inside the Georgia World Congress Center.

Discovery Center opened its doors Tuesday to its first groups of students from Camp Creek Middle School in Fulton County and Sequoyah Middle School in DeKalb County.

"Wow, this is cool!" said Keshawn Banks, a Camp Creek Middle School sixth-grade student.

The idea is to teach young people how to budget, save and invest, immersing them in reality-based decision making.

The program, developed by Junior Achievement of Georgia with support from the Chick-fil-A Foundation and several other Georgia-based companies, gives sixth through eighth-grade students the opportunity to learn about finances and careers. It also transforms them into adults for a day, allowing them to become leaders in their individual "households" and "town."

Discovery Center is made up of two components: Finance Park and BizTown.

In BizTown, students are given "jobs" at certain "businesses" in the town. They spend the day learning how to do specific tasks and learning about customer service.

In Finance Park, students play the role of the consumer. Each student is given a new identity for the day.

"So they'll be a 45-year-old male or female. They will have a job title. They will have X income, and they will actually have to live out the life of that adult throughout the day," said Rodney Bullard, a Chick-fil-A vice president.

Keshawn said he can't wait to tell his mother what he's learned at the Discovery Center.

"Later in life, she won't have to teach me as much because BizTown will have taught me," he said.

Atlanta Public Schools, DeKalb County Schools and Fulton County Schools have begun to integrate Junior Achievement's financial literacy and work readiness education into the core curriculum for middle school students.

For more information on Junior Achievement's Chick-fil-A Foundation Discovery Learning Center, click here.

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