On Friday April 5th, the 7th and 8th graders at Wayne Middle School participated in Reality Town. Reality Town is an educational program that gives realistic financial experience to middle and high school students. Many schools around the country participate in this program and are already giving their students an edge in the real world. The program is a two-hour simulation that was held in the Middle School gym. Before entering Reality Town, students received a handbook and personalized pay stub which contained information about their Reality Town family. Students were selected for a job based on their GPA. They got a chance to see if they could support a family on the salary of their job.
As part of the preparation for the Reality Town Simulation, students learned about loans and tax withholding as they examine their personalized pay stub. Members of the community and FFA students from the high school manned booths that simulated all aspects of the students’ financial life. They visited banks, car dealers, realtors, insurance agents, communication companies and other businesses that they would visit in real life. The students had to adjust their purchases to meet the realities of life. They enjoyed the experience, though several students were disappointed that they did not make enough money to buy a big truck. This was a good experience that allowed the students to learn about where their money goes and how their choices determine their lifestyle. They also learned that how well they do in school will impact their earning potential. We would like to thank Wayne Middle School for sponsoring the event and Candance Peterson and Jennifer Hunt for setting up the experience.