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Exchange City Stories from Students & Teachers

Mrs. Mello, Educator, Ahern Middle School

When I first became aware that Exchange City was coming to Rhode Island, I was immediately intrigued and knew it was something I wanted my students to be a part of. Everything about it was exciting and different.  The students loved the lessons and knowing what was waiting for them at Exchange City generated such excitement! The entire experience energized me as an educator in a way that nothing else ever has. Exchange City was, and is, the ultimate answer to the age-old “Why do I have to learn this?” and “When will I ever use this?”

The entire process of learning about citizenship, economics, business and personal finance is so meaningful and has value way beyond the classroom. I have had countless community members and parents comment to me regarding how impressed they were to see 7th graders preparing resumes, interviewing for ‘jobs’, and learning how to use and balance checkbooks.  Those who have actually attended our field trips are even more impressed with the element of reality that Exchange City provides, not only with the building facades, but with the roles it allows students to embody for the day. Especially important are the countless situations that students are presented with providing them opportunities to collaborate, problem solve and communicate. These 21st Century Skills are critical to success both within and beyond the classroom, and are what employers in the real world are looking for in their candidates.

My hat is really off to you and your team for the time, effort and dedication you have given to this amazing program.  In the short time that I have been involved, I have seen fantastic innovations and have personally witnessed your commitment to continuing to improve the experience for teachers as well as students.  I applaud your efforts, and extend my gratitude for all that you do to make Exchange City what it is. You may never truly realize the impact you have on the students who pass through the doors, but I can tell you that what happens at Exchange City leaves a lasting impression.  I can say with certainty that for many students, they get more from this brief simulation that they do from months of classroom instruction and the lessons learned are priceless.

 With Sincere Thanks,

Alison Mello
Ahern Middle School, Foxborough

Jessica, 7th Grade Student, Slater Jr. High
Debbie Scarpelli, Teacher Samuel Slater Middle School
Leah Allard, Teacher, Barrington Middle School
Kara Campbell, teacher Burrillville Middle School
Slater Jr. High Student