Parke County is busy planning the first annual Reality Store. The Reality Store is an interactive educational program developed by the Indiana Business and Professional Women's organization. The program is designed to teach young people the importance of money management. The program targets eighth graders.
Between the ages of 14 and 20, young people make critical decisions that affect the course of their whole lives; decisions about educational paths, career options, lifetime mates and family timing. They should make these decisions with knowledge about the realities of and options for their futures. The Reality Store is designed to encourage teens to think about their future and to help teens visualize how their career choice will affect their economic well-being.
At the Reality Store, students will become a 28-year-old adult. They will have an assigned occupation based on an assessment completed in the classroom and their marital status and family size. They will be responsible for a checking account and savings account. The students must spend their monthly income on the necessities of life and then are able to purchase extras, if finances allow. And as in real life the students will have unexpected events to handle.
The goals of the Reality Store concept are: To help all students learn basic skills in financial planning, goal setting, decision making and career planning; to clarify the need for young people to examine their futures and their career expectations and to motivate students to stay in school, stay away from drugs and avoid pregnancy.
The planning committee consists of Marcia Carpenter from W.I.E.T.S.; Pam Rager and Stephanie Crum from the Parke-Vermillion Vocational Center; Candy Allen, Turkey Run School Corporation; Annette Harper, Southwest Parke Schools; Kim South, Rockville Schools; Kristen Clary, Parke County Economic Development; and Alice Alderson, Purdue University Extension Service-Parke County.
The Reality Store will be April 28 at the Parke County 4-H Fairgrounds. For more information, contact the Parke County Extension Office at (765) 569-3176.