Tioga Middle School's Micro Society

October 23, 2008 9:24:20 PM PDT
Starting up a new business in the current economic climate can be tough, but think about the challenge of opening two dozen under one roof!The buzz at this job fair is all about getting one, earning some bucks and a place to spend your paycheck. But this is North West Fresno's Tioga Middle School.

Welcome to a place they call 'The City of 'New Fresno', where crime scene investigator is one of 26 new businesses being cultivated here in a magnet program called "Micro Society".

Tioga Principal Ray Avila said, "The beauty of our magnet program is every student that comes to our school participtes in it. It's not a program within a program."

Avila says every student will spend two class periods a week working or playing in their virtual city. The job will engage their minds, earn them 'New Fresno' bucks they can use in other 'New Fresno' small businesses. There's a court system as well as a mayor and city council. Meet the Deputy Mayor: Sunset Lee.

Sunset Lee said, "Well, we're just learning responsibilities and things we need to know about life and jobs."

Every student at Tioga Middle school is a resident of "New Fresno", all 7-hundred-75 of them. And each one will also have a job tied to that citizenship.

These girls are considering the insurance business on the advice of a grandparent.

Raquiel Ruiz said, "And he said you make money by being someone else's insurance partner."

At this job fair, everyone goes home knowing they'll get job.

Ray Avila said, "Every business will tap into a minimum one to two of our core academic programs that we have here: math, science, social studies, PE and of course language arts."

Here in 'New Fresno' learning how to work for a day's pay and succeed is all part of the lesson plan.

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