JULY 17,2001
CONTACT: Mike Stepanovich, 664-2456, or Pat Wright, 664-2138

The eighth annual Children in the Marketplace program is under way at California State University, Bakersfield

The project is an innovative economics education program presented by the Center for Economic Education and Research at CSUB. The curriculum is designed to introduce elementary school students to fundamentals and principles of capitalism, profit and loss, and the market.

“Children in the Marketplace is a unique enrichment program to teach elementary school students the basics of the free enterprise system,” said program director Abbas Grammy, an economics professor at CSUB. "Our goal is to educate children about decision making, because ultimately, their lives will be affected by the choices they make. In fact, many boys and girls begin to learn the importance of work, education, money, and set career goals as well as make decisions."

Fourth, fifth, and sixth grade students from area schools are taking part in the summer program, learning the fundamentals of economics, from supply and demand to the banking system, including lessons that bring home the concepts of competition, price and profit through hands-on projects. Students take roles as managers, workers, and consumers, learning to solve practical problems, such as how to manage scarce resources and how to price a product.

"The program has grown tremendously," Grammy said. "Parents and children really like it." The program offers 30 hours of in-class instruction, group activities and business trips. Students are admitted on a first-come, first-served basis. This year 41 students from 22 elementary schools are participating.

Children in the Marketplace is funded by a grant from Wells Fargo Bank that has helped reduce the student tuition fee to $70 for the two-week program. Participants receive a T-shirt and class photo. Tuition assistance is available, Grammy said.

Classes meet in Dorothy Donahoe Hall room E103 on the CSUB campus through July 27 from 9 a.m. to noon. Grammy and Marnie Forzetting, a teacher at Sing Lum Elementary School in Bakersfield, are the instructors. Nancy Garrett of Wells Fargo Bank serves as honorary program chair.

For more information, please call 661/664-2466.

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