When most people think of entrepreneurs, fifth-graders usually don't come to mind.

When most people think of entrepreneurs, fifth-graders usually don't come to mind.

For fifth-grade teacher Tim Skamfer, they do.

The High Point Elementary School's fifth-graders spent last week in "BizTown," a program through Junior Achievement of Central Ohio.

"It's a real-world situation that makes learning exciting," Skamfer said.

On Dec. 17, 81 students were bused to Second Street in Columbus, where BizTown is housed. Inside the former school building is a scaled-down town, which includes its own City Hall, a bank, professional offices, a caf, a radio station, a television station, a newspaper office, a science center, a supply-and-delivery center, a wellness center and retail shops featuring hockey equipment, natural products, signs and a wireless-service provider.

Skamfer said the school purchases the business package from Junior Achievement, which includes a five-week unit on economics that culminates with the trip to BizTown.

Leading up to the trip, students prepare rsums and apply for jobs. Teachers conduct job interviews, and students are "hired" for the day at BizTown.

They spent Dec. 17 working at their jobs, getting real-life experience, Skamfer said. He said the television news anchors broadcast stories they had written during the day, and the supply-and-delivery center's employees delivered goods to the businesses. Business owners then wrote checks for the goods.

The BizTown employees received two paychecks for the day and could take the checks to the bank to be cashed. While there, they could open savings accounts and use the rest of their earnings to shop in the retail spaces and eat in the caf.

"We tell them the only part of it that is not like real life is getting paid twice in the day," Skamfer said.

Information from Junior Achievement of Central Ohio states that more than half of students ages 13 to 18 want to open their own business. That's what the Junior Achievement program is about -- a "hands-on, experiential program" that teaches "the key concepts of work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy," according to the organization's Web site.

Skamfer said the program costs $18 per student, and a portion of the price is funded via the school's PTA.

"We're fortunate in that the parents have been very supportive of the program," Skamfer said.

Besides helping to send the children to BizTown, Skamfer said, the parents also help during the trip by volunteering to work at the town. This year, 18 parents went through online training to help at BizTown, and more parents than needed offered to go.

All of the fifth-grade classes participated in the program. Skamfer is one of four fifth-grade teachers at the school. His colleagues are Kathy Jacob, Mary Wingert and Kevin Sheets.

"It definitely takes a team effort to complete this project successfully," he said of his colleagues and the program.