CROWN POINT | On Friday, November 9, the Taft 8th grade class participated in Crown Point Community School Corporation’s very first Reality Store event at Colonel John Wheeler Middle School. The Reality Store was brought to us by the “Crossroads Regional Chamber of Commerce” which hosts the event at various schools every year. Volunteers were recruited by the Chamber of Commerce and various regional businesses to come and assist the students.
The 8th grade class has been preparing for this event since August. They participated in a Career Interest Inventory called “Drive of Your Life” where they completed a questionnaire to find careers that most closely reflected their interests. They then chose a career to use when attending the event. The students also completed a lesson plan on how to complete a checkbook for budget monitoring. Shortly before the event, the students completed an online survey that asked questions about their beliefs on money management and how to handle real life situations. They also took a Post Survey after the Reality Store.
At The Reality Store students were given an individual “fake” paycheck for each student with the career monthly salary of their choice with Federal and State taxes withheld. They also received a checkbook and savings account register. All students were asked to dress professionally as if they were going on a job interview. The students looked and dressed their parts flawlessly. The students were then transported to Wheeler for the event. They then visited various booths to make purchases that they would make as 28 year old adults.
The booths such as: Housing, Utilities, Clothing, Food, Transportation, etc. are run by the Chamber of Commerce business and local volunteers. The students had to budget their money as they made purchases to make it last so that they could purchase luxury items at the end of the store. All students were required to visit the Reality Check booth to pick a “Surprise” life event. Those “surprise” events consisted of; losing one’s job, having more children, getting arrested, etc.
The students then had to revisit some booths to make adjustments to their life according to what surprise event they received. Upon their return to school, the students discussed their experiences and how they handled their situations and money. The students then took a post survey to document their reactions to The Reality Store. The 8th grade Taft class was extremely well behaved, respectful and courteous at this event. The Reality StoreSM was the “talk” of the school before and after. Kids could not stop discussing what they bought, how much money they had left or what odd thing happened to them.
On behalf of Robert A. Taft, we would like to express our sincere gratitude to all of the volunteers that made this event possible and memorable. We are equally as proud of all the hard work and effort of the 8th grade students and school staff that made this event so successful. Robert A. Taft is excited to offer this event again for the 2013-2014 school year!