Local fifth graders take over AmeriTowne

GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Some local students are involved in a special project.

Fifth graders in School District 51 in Mesa County are pretending to be adults and taking over town. More accurately, they're taking over AmeriTowne, a mobile city that packs into a U-Haul and travels across the state. It stopped here in Grand Junction.

"I am the mayor. We had to run in our classroom and I won for my speech,” said Lincoln Orchard Mesa 5th grader Zoe Maple.

"There's a mail carrier running around, we have police officers, a mayor, a judge...so many options,” said Megan Hill another student at Lincoln Orchard Mesa Elementary.

Students had been preparing for weeks to run the town.

"This is a really amazing experience for kids and you can see that with the look on their face when they walk into town,” said Assistant Director for Young AmeriTowne on the Road, Ali Bruegger. "It's Always amazing to me to see how excited kids are to pretend to be adults and to take on that responsibility."

It all includes real-life scenarios from balancing checkbooks to applying for jobs to learning about politics.

"I actually want to try to run for mayor...my mom actually loves politics,” said Maple.

"It's because my grandpa used to be a cop,” said 5th grader Chance, who acts as an AmeriTowne police officer.

It's giving adults a run for their money.

"I have been learning that when I am interviewing I have to ask who, what, when, where, and how you are going to do it," said 5th grader Xavier Drake. He was acting as the AmeriTowne TV reporter and Ad Agent.

AmeriTowne will be set up for the next four weeks in Grand Junction. Afterwards, they will be hitting the road and going to other school districts that can't quite make it to Denver.

This is the third year AmeriTowne has come to Grand Junction, hosting more than 950 students.

That's an increase of 25 percent since last year.

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