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Reality Check

A One Day Event for the Sophomore Class

The "Reality Check" event is a simulation for students being on their own in the real world.  The aim is to show students they need to make smart choices on their career paths and education to be able to afford what they want in life.  Each student is assigned a random career, a random family, and a random salary.  Booths such as groceries, banking, and utilities were manned by community volunteers, and students are required to visit each booth.

Michelle and Shannon will go to the High School a few days before the event to talk to the students to set expectations and goals. They will email teachers and explain the sessions at that time.

Each Student is assigned a career, salary, and possibly a family. Careers have been made based on jobs in our surrounding areas and salary increases. The salaries are based off a 25 year old starting their career.

Set Up: Michelle and Shannon will set up the 18 booths the day before at the Piper Court. The booths consist of tables, chairs, and signs. We will have a packet at each booth with paperwork to explain volunteers responsibilities at that booth and amounts to deduct from the student checks register based on their family size.

Volunteers: We will use community members, local businesses, etc.  Volunteers can use their cellphone calculator and pens in the packet.

Student Cards: At the beginning of each session, the students go to the “Uncle Sam” booth to collect their student card that lists their career, monthly income and family. The card lists all the booths they must visit. The students are required to visit each booth and have the volunteer sign their card.

Next is the “Bank” booth, where students will receive a check register (the volunteering banks donate registers and pens each year for us). We ask that the students write the booth names in the check registers but that the volunteers write the amount deducted from each booth and do the calculations.

Booths: Here Is a Quick Rundown of All the Booths!

Bank - The bankers will write in the check registers their starting balance (the monthly income listed on their card). Students can elect to have money put into savings at this time, however they can return to the bank at any time to transfer money back to their checking account. At this point, Students can start to visit all the booths to pay their bills. Students usually go to the transportation or housing booths first, because they have to do these booths before they go to insurance, utilities and tag agency.

Transportation - The students can pick between a new or used compact car, mid-size sedan, small truck or sports car.

Housing - Students will also pick between 3 housing options, including an apartment. Buy a House, Rent a house, Apartment

Insurance (Auto & Renter’s) - Price of insurance is based on what they have purchased in the Housing Booth and what type of car they have selected.

Insurance (Dental, Eye, and Health) - Students purchase insurance based on marital status and children.

Tag Agency - Students will pay for their car tag and tax. The cost depends on what vehicle they have purchased in the Transportation Booth. Smaller cars and trucks $74, Larger car and trucks (SUV) $77.25, 18 wheeler $980

Inspection Station - $7 (the additional $7.50 registration fee is included in the TAG price)

Utilities - The price of the students' utilities depends on their family size and what housing they have purchased. Average Monthly Utilities include water, garbage, sewage, and electricity.

Child Care - The students choose the ages of their children. If they choose ages 3 and under, the student has an option to pay for Professional Child Care or Home Day Care. If their child is school aged, we deduct an Afterschool Fee.

Clothing - We have a set amount based on their income and family size.

Piper Cuts - This is our health/beauty service booth. There is an option for Haircuts for men, women and children. There is also an option for hair coloring, hair products and even manicures and pedicures.

Chance - Students will draw different life scenarios from a jar. They may get a birthday card with money from Grandma and add $25 to their check register or they may have to spend $10 on allergy medicine.

Charity - Students can select from several local charities to which they can donate. We set the amount at $10.00. If they select a church, volunteers would deduct 10% of their monthly income.

Grocery - We have a set amount to deduct from the students' check register based on their family size. (We researched the amounts from Official USDA Food Plans.)

Entertainment - Students will choose between a list of fun activities. They may choose to go to a Concert, Movies (Theater or Red Box), Mini Vacation, Family Swim Pass to the Community Pool, or maybe the Zoo.

Communications - Our communication booth offers a few options Basic Bundle (Cable TV, Cell Phone & Internet), Unlimited Bundle (Upgraded Cable TV, Faster Internet, Cell Photo & Data), or a Prepaid GO Phone.

Furniture - Furniture includes bedroom, dining room, living room, washer & dryer, TV and refrigerator. Based on their monthly income and family size, a certain amount is deducted for the price of furniture. Lower incomes have an option for Garage Sale priced furniture.

Doctor - Each student card has been assigned a certain “Dental/Health” code. Each code is different, “D”-Dental or “H”-Medical service. (For example: D-1 is a Dental Cleaning, H-4 is Broken Arm.) Each code is priced with “Actual Cost” or “With Insurance”.

SOS - If students are low on money and do not have enough to visit each booth, they will come to the SOS booth for a second job. Volunteers may talk with students about their spending habits. If students did not make a wise decision on their car or other items purchased, the volunteer may send them to trade before they are allowed a second job.