AmeriTowne comes to Wyoming; Sagewood Elementary fifth graders take the reigns

(Casper, Wyo.) - "We are finally here! Welcome to Wyotowne citizens! Today teamwork is key to our success and I encourage everyone of you to be happy and to have fun!" commented Sagewood Elementary 5th Grader, Chantel Tarango the first Wyotowne Mayor in Wyoming. ​Tarango and her fellow students were the first group of Wyoming students to walk the streets and shops of Wyotowne, a financial literacy program aimed at educating students about the joys of being a citizen in a community and taking on the responsibilities as an adult. ​Their principal, Tyer Hartl commented before the ribbon cutting at town hall, "The town has a mayor, police officers patrolling the streets, a judge, TV and radio crews, a snack shop and a bank where the kids must cash their checks. Starting these kids at an early age about financial responsibilities is huge and an opportunity for them to grow. This program is the building blocks to create a stronger connection with the community they live in. Many local businesses have stepped in today to help the students out. As the kids continue to grow up in Casper, they will have the support of the community and it will bolster the support of local businesses. The kids are now learning what it takes to create and run a business." We talked with Sagewood student, Eve Trout-Johnson who was playing tunes for the town's people in the Radio Station who told us, "I'm playing music to keep up the entertainment, and I love it!" ​Eve stated that she hopes to work in the radio business when she gets older, and she had the support of State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Jillian Balow helping her pick the pop and country tunes. Boys and Girls Club of Central Wyoming CEO Ashley Bright commented, "This is one of the most exciting days in Wyoming! We are really thrilled to be doing this and giving our students this opportunity. We are not in Colorado anymore watching this program, we are here in Wyoming with it." ​Bright reported that the idea sparked in 2010/2011 when he first heard of the Ameritowne program. With the help of Mick and Susie McMurry, Bright was able to visit the program in Colorado in 2012. "Four years later we are here today with this wonderful program," said Bright. The students prepared in the classroom for ten weeks in preparation for their time in Wyotowne. ​We were looking for Mayor Tarango, who was getting checked out in the hospital, when we found her she commented, "I love being Mayor because I am in charge of the whole town. We are all learning together, learning about all this big stuff in the world and it's just amazing!" Parents, volunteers, Kelly Walsh Financial Literacy students and many others stepped in to aid the kids today. After the students gathered in Town Hall and sang the town song, the ribbon was cut and the kids got to work; making advertisements, making snacks, playing music, and swiping their credit cards. Watch the kids singing and celebrating below: Photos and Video: Pitchengine Communities ​ #oilcity #news