Micro-Society Magnet School Providing Life Lessons For Youth

Jonesboro -- Olivia Stone welcomes her students to a new year at the former West Elementary School and introduces them to new elements that will be taught to accommodate the Micro-Society magnet school curriculum.

"They will learn things like how to spend money, make money, and balance a checkbook," said Olivia Stone.

"We felt like making the school like Jonesboro would make it more real world," said principal Dr. Russell Clark.

Principal Dr. Russell Clark says the foundation of education is still firmly in place, with reading, writing, arithmetic, and standardized test scores still top priority.

".....but then we're going to give the students opportunities to put that into practice. When you go to the bank to get your first car loan, when you go to the bank to open a savings account, when you go buy school clothes," said Dr. Clark.

The Micro Society school is set up much like a city with halls given street names, banks, and there's even a college--giving these students real world experiences students will take with them long after they leave the classroom.

"We understand it's going to be very difficult.  Teachers just by nature come in and just fix things. We come in and make sure that things turn out right at the end of the day, but here we have to be a teacher/facilitator," said Dr. Clark.

Facilitating good problem solving skills and working together for a prosperous city, an effective government, and personal success.

Teachers will incorporate these lessons into their daily teaching plans.....but will have a set time during each day to focus on the Micro-Society curriculum.

"Once we get the Micro Society up and running and everyone is paying rent, and going to their jobs, I think it's going to be really very exciting," said 5th grade teacher, Risa Billing.

For second grade teacher Olivia Stone, she's up to the challenge of this brand new year and excited for the students and the opportunities ahead.

"I've already had parents come up to me and tell me that their children say I want my own business--so I think it will be very beneficial," said Stone.

They are arming kids with the knowledge to make good decisions in the classroom and out.