· To give youth a glimpse of their future in a fun and exciting way.
· To help youth become aware of their need for basic skills in financial planning, goal setting, decision making and career planning.
· To clarify the need for young women and men to examine their attitudes about their futures and their career aspirations.
· To motivate students to stay in school, stay away from drugs and avoid teenage pregnancy.
Between the ages of 14 and 20, young women and men make critical decisions that affect the course of their whole lives - decisions about educational paths, career options, lifetime mates and family living. They should make these critical decisions with the knowledge and a sophisticated attitude about the realities of and options for their futures.
Prior to the Reality Store the students use an interest survey they had completed to choose their career, they were assigned a salary and drew for a children. They may have no children or up to 5 at various ages. We are assuming they are about 30-35 years old. They discuss the difference between wants and needs and emphasize making wise choices.
The students will then go into the Reality Store where they spend their salary on the necessities and luxuries they envision as part of the adult lifestyle. Every young person will also deal with unexpected things that happen in daily life at the Chance Booth. If for some reason a young person finds him/herself in real financial trouble, there will be help at the SOS/Supplemental income table. Volunteers and business persons from the housing industry, utilities, grocery stores, department stores, financial institutions, auto dealerships, medical profession, child care centers, travel and entertainment, industry, and etc. will be present at the Reality Store to help the young people determine how much of their income will need to be spent in each category in order to provide their desired lifestyle. The goal of this exercise is to help youth learn whether their chosen occupation will provide the type of lifestyle they want.
After their trip through the Reality Store, students will have a greater awareness of whether the career they are considering would support the lifestyle they would like to have as an adult and the need to set educational goals to achieve their career aspirations.
Following the Reality Store, the students use their bank account sheet in math class to learn to complete a checkbook registry and reconcile a checking account.
This annual event would not be possible without the 30+ volunteers who spend their morning working the various booths at the Reality Store. THANK YOU to all who gave of their time and talents.
For more information on Reality Store or other Cooperative Extension School Enrichment Programs, contact Janeen Tramble, Trigg County 4-H Youth Development Agent at 522-3269 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Educational programs of Kentucky Cooperative Extension serve all people regardless of race, color, age, sex, religion, disability, or national origin.
Information for this staff report was submitted by Janeen Tramble, Trigg County 4-H Youth Development Agent.