NRHEG students get a glimpse of reality
Published 9:52 am Thursday, May 12, 2016
Exercise allows 11th-graders to practice managing money
NEW RICHLAND — NRHEG juniors were given a glimpse into life after high school Wednesday.
As part of Reality Day, students had to go through the steps someone in their mid-to late-20s with a career and family has to go through, such as paying bills for investments, utilities, groceries, day care, pet care and insurance with a simulated monthly salary.
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Taxes were taken out of their paycheck.
A police officer came in and handed out simulated tickets to students, and the school nurse handed out unexpected events cards. The cards listed a simulated life experience, which the student would have to pay for.
The day was a culmination of a mandatory, semester-long money management course.
Instructor Krystle Sell described the course as “vital” to students.
“I think this is something that should be continued in the future, as it is vital for the kids to experience what they will have to do in the future when it comes to paying bills and living in the real world,” Sell said.
The event was meant to provide juniors with skills in goal setting, financial planning, decision making and career planning. It clarifies the need for the students to examine their expectations and their futures and motivates students to stay in school.
Students completed an evaluation form as they left.
Student Oakley Baker said the event helped him look at the big picture, noting it will help him prepare for the future by portraying different situations that could come spontaneously.
“This is a great, great experience for us to manage our money in different ways,” Baker said. “We get to find out what we really need instead of what we want.”
Retired teacher Georgia Dinneen said 17 to 20 community volunteers — including the president and loan officer from an area bank — help annually at the event.
“We are grateful to these people for coming in and helping our juniors throughout the process,” Dinneen said.
She said the idea for the event came when she saw a school in Pillager that was featured on the news for a reality store program.
She said she and another district business teacher a few years ago traveled to La Crosse, Wisconsin, to observe a similar event.
Student Klarissa Winter said she was nervous about the event because of managing money and all of the responsibilities that come with it.