Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reality Town

This year all the 8th graders had the chance to participate in Reality Town at the Junior High. This is an event that the the school & PTA sponsor. Based on the student's grades and their interest, they are given a career. With that career, they are given their monthly salary, possibly a spouse and 0-2 kids.

Emma paying her property taxes with Kayla by her side

Emma had a GPA high enough that she could choose any profession she wanted. She said she wrote down that she either wanted to be a school teacher or anesthesiologist LOL! She was assigned the career of teacher. She was earning a little over $3,000 a month but she was married so she had some supplemental income. 
One more shot of her writing out her check

The kids had checkbooks and a booklet that had all the things they would need to pay for for one month. Here are some of the things they had to purchase: housing, utilities, property taxes (this is where I worked with three other ladies), groceries (Macey's comes in and does this one - gives them popcorn too), personal grooming (if they had highlights or colored hair, their cost went up - a local hair salon does this one), home improvements (Emma drew a card that said she had to pay $800 on carpet. She's still irked by that one.), pets (She wanted a turtle but never got to get one), entertainment (if your parents took you on vacation, you had to take your family on vacation too - it was not optional but she did choose a cheaper weekend trip), communications, transportation, bank (yep, they had to pay $20 for their checkbook), Insurance - health/car, Just my Luck (spin the wheel & see if you get good or bad news - if you had health or car insurance, sometimes it wasn't too big a deal), investment consulting, financial counseling, 2nd jobs (lots of kids ran out of money & needed more income) and they even had a roaming cop giving tickets for kids with cars & no insurance (Emma got fined $10 for PDA because she hugged her friend LOL!)  

Emma and Kayla

It takes about 2 hours (they had two waves of 8th graders so we worked over four hours) for them to go to all the different stations. The kids have a great time learning about how expensive life really is. 

Emma, Kayla and Anna at the utilities station

I loved working at Reality Town and I really liked being in property tax. It was cut and dry. Based on what house they chose they had to pay X amount. That amount was already calculated so we just had to wait for them to write out their checks, help them get their new checking balance and then sign off their booklet. Some stations took a very long time because the kids had to stand their and make decisions. I've noticed that 8th graders aren't the quickest creatures on the planet. 

We had to be there at 8:00 am. That was hard to do since we all were getting ready at the same time. I will blame my rushing around crazy early in the morning as the reason I forgot my camera.(I used my cell phone and borrowed some pictures from Michelle C.) One perk was they fed the volunteers breakfast and lunch plus they gave us a bunch of coupons for local retailers. Score! Another perk is I got to work property tax with some friends. It was nice to sit and visit between groups and get to know some new people. I will certainly help out again. I think this was a very valuable learning experience. I know Emma had her eyes opened by all the surprise expenses she had.

1 comment:

rlg said...

I think that is really a good idea the school has for kids to see where all your money really goes. Glad you got to participate with Emma.