Click here for updates on this story
Miami, Florida (WFOR) — An after-school program in Miami’s West Little River neighborhood supervises children and gets them into kindergarten as early as possible.
Welcome to “Dukeville”. It’s like a small city where every student has a job and runs everything including the government.
This is a program called MicroSociety at the New Jerusalem Baptist Church.
The program uses social construction to foster a love of learning, and there are schools around the world that do this.
As you walk through the school corridors, it looks like a small main street. There are post offices, banks, shops, police officers and elected officials.
Students apply for the job and all go to work for at least a few hours after school.
Sabrina Floyd is director of the New Jerusalem Community Development Corporation, which runs the program, which is now in its 15th year.
“Microsocieties help children understand what it means to live in a community from an early age,” explains Floyd.
Jobs include shopkeeper, artist, postman, kitchen staff, mayor, and more.
Children must create a constitution and obey the law. If you don’t, you’ll get a ticket, pay a fine, or argue your case at the weekly city hall meeting.
“They bring up issues they’re having with employees and ventures, they talk about it at town hall meetings, they come together to solve problems,” Floyd said.
Students like fifth grader Kwame were elected mayor for their work at the post office.
“I’m learning about taxes. I’m learning about banking. I’m learning about everything.”
Sisters Paris and Peyton love making art, going to shops, and earning money to spend on food.
There are so many valuable lessons and they are having a great time too.
This is one of many after-school programs funded by The Children’s Trust as a strategic investment to improve the lives of all children and families in Miami-Dade County.
Note: This content is subject to a strict local market embargo. If you share the same market as the contributor of this article, you cannot use it on any platform.