"Reality U" is about teaching teens how their performance in school today can affect their future. It provides students with the opportunity to learn and practice personal finance skills. It can mobilize the community to become involved stakeholders in education, particularly financial literacy education in their local schools. Through their 1 1/2 hour adventure, called "Reality U", the student uses rational decision-making and planning to set and implement financial goals. The student will understand sources of income and the relationship between income and career preparation. The student will understand principles of money management and the student will understand credit uses and costs.
The WHS Class of 2020, improved their "financial vision" exponentially Wednesday - "Reality U" was on campus and suddenly over 100 16 yo's were transformed into "adult" roles, i.e. married, a parent, divorced, single, kids, no kids, paying child support, receiving child support, having to budget, using money allocated to them via a computer algorithm - the higher their GPA, the more money they had to work with. (The students with children even had to contend with discontented "crying" babies) as they made their way as a family through the financial jungle before them. Some of them, quite cleverly, purchased DAY CARE early on and left their child there why they continued with financial business.
With their roles assigned and their budgets set, the WHS Class of 2020, purchased homes, purchased cars, purchased insurance, groceries, utilities, entertainment items, etc.. There was even the "CHANCE" booth - the student might walk away with a $100 a month raise or may break an arm, not purchased insurance yet so cost of broken arm came out of their budget. As many real life scenarios were exposed to the group, including "for real" mortgage loans and rates!
When it was all said and done, it was obvious the students had appeared to have gained valuable insight into what lies ahead in the adult financial world. Many indicated they would return home Wednesday after school and thank their parents. That is enlightenment!
The director of the program was impressed with our WHS Sophomores and I don't think he was just feeding us a line. The WHS Class of 2020 did an awesome job with the hands-on and real-life approach to financial literacy and the general costs of every day living. They made me proud!
When surveyed after the experience, many of the kids were surprised how expensive housing was and surprised how quickly their budgeted allotments in some cases, dwindled as expenses were added. If the car they purchased, later kept them from buying enough groceries, the student would be directed to a Q & A booth where different options would be discussed, i.e. get a 2nd job or revise your budgeted expenses, etc. In other words, get rid of the Corvette and buy a bus pass or something. :)
It was a great experience for the students and a great experience for the 2 dozen plus community volunteers who manned the variety of booths. The students were even assisted with making appropriate handshakes and eye contact when greeting others. All said, I was proud of the CRUSADERS Wednesday at WHS...we had a fine group and now, in my opinion, a more enlightened group about what they need to do and how to get started doing it. GO FOR IT CRUSADERS - LIFE IS SHORT SO NOW IS THE TIME TO GET IT ALL IN GEAR!
Mrs. Rane Case, who teaches at WHS, arranged for REALITY U to visit WHS - the expense was covered through donations and that was very much appreciated for sure.
REALITY U PICS (Compliments of WHS Yearbook!)