WOODLAND (CBS13) – Third graders at Woodland Christian Elementary School are running their very own city and learning real life lessons.
Third grade teacher Marla Geer acts as the bank in Cardinal City, where students create their own businesses and balance their budgets.
“I’ve bought books, pizza and I’ve paid my rent,” said student Kenna Delemos, who runs the post office.
While there are real items the students can buy, they also learn about paying bills.
“It’s a difficult life out there and they have to be responsible,” said Geer.
The city’s mayor collects $2 every day from each student.
“They’re paying rent so their box can be in the classroom,” said Mayor Jacob Miramontes.
Police officers maintain order at Cardinal City. If the students don’t pay their rent, they get put in jail for five minutes.
“I forgot to pay my bills,” said one inmate.
The third graders also have to keep track of how much money they bring in and how much they spend.
“I add up all this and then I count how much money there is,” said Delemos.
If the number doesn’t match what the bank has, they can’t open for the day.
“You get to learn how the city works and keep track of money,” said Miramontes.
Some students are left with just $1 in their bank account, while others have more than $200.
“People come to my store and I get lots of money,” said Annette Ochoa.
They’re learning lessons some adults don’t quite understand.
“You have to pay your bills and if you don’t, you’ll have to pay more money,” said Miramontes.
Geer has been doing this for the past eight years. She says her first group of third graders recently graduated from high school and they fondly remember getting to run a business in their classroom.