4-H extension agent Janeen Tramble said the event has been held for years and that the students all seem to enjoy it pretty well. In preparing for the Reality Store, students take an interest survey to help them choose a career. They then find out what their family size is by the luck of the draw. After that, they circle around the middle school gym to booths where they have to spend their money.
The very first stop is Uncle Sam, which comes as somewhat of a shock to them, Tramble said. After feeling wiped out there, they must go to the bank and open a checking account. They also have to shop for a car, groceries, health insurance, life insurance, furniture, clothing and entertainment items. There was also a booth where they could make charitable contributions. There was even a chance booth, which usually meant bad luck, such as having to buy a wedding gift or pay for a speeding ticket. If they ran out of money (and many of them did), they could go to the supplemental income booth where they could get a second, or even a third, job. They would also get advice, but no government assistance.
Patty Purks said she inherited the event a couple of years before. She said that the next day, the students would have an “eye-opening” writing assignment. They would have to write to the volunteers and businesses that helped put the program on and thank them in detail
Kendra Redd sat at the child-care booth, where the students had to spend an amount based on how many children they had. If the children were potty-trained, they could save a little. If they could get a grandmother to baby-sit, they
Mallory Lawrence sat at the grocery booth. She said she had explained to the kids about the benefits of buying off-brand items and that none of them had purchased name brands all day.
For the rest of this story, read this week's Cadiz Record.