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Monday, May 2, 2016

A dose of 'Reality'

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fourteen-year-old Shaylyn Ehrlich took a chance with the spinning wheel at the Clay County Business Women's Club annual Reality Store Monday. After spinning the wheel, Shaylyn realized she had bounced a check. [Order this photo]
For Bailey Fry, 14, and Kendrick McKee, 13, taking part in the 21st Clay County Business Women's Club Reality Store was a learning experience.

"I thought it was pretty cool," Fry said Monday after finishing the event. "I learned what my parents go through. I didn't think it was that hard."

"I liked it," McKee added. "It was definitely a learning experience. I know when I'm older to save money and plan for the future. I felt like I did pretty good."

Kendrick McKee [Order this photo]
The event, an annual experience for Clay County eighth-graders, gives students the opportunity to live like an adult for a couple of hours.

They go through several different stages and essentially learn what living as an adult -- for only one month -- is truly like.

"This program has touched so many lives," Clay County Business Women's Club Coordinator Kathy Deal said. "It started when three of our members went to the Fort Wayne Reality Store and participated. We were so amazed.

"We've had a wonderful experience (conducting the event)."

There were several stages for the students to take part in during the event, including:

* Family Choice, where they drew for a family status they would have as a 28-year-old,

Members of the Clay County Business Women's Club include (from left) Kim Riddell, Deneta Campbell, Shirley Whittington, Kathy Deal, Sharon Wilkison, Laura Butterworth and Sandy Lorenze. [Order this photo]
* Bank, where they would open a checking account, and more,

* Uncle Sam, where they would pay taxes,

* Housing, where they would choose to either buy or rent,

* Utilities, where they would pay bills,

* Food, where they would pay a monthly grocery bill,

* Daycare, where if they had children, they would pay for their care,

* Medical Insurance. While this was optional, the students were told they may be sorry in the future for not purchasing it,

* Transportation, where they would purchase a vehicle and insurance,

* Second Job, where they were told it may be necessary to get a second job to pay bills, etc.,

* Medical, where if they did not have health insurance, the students had to draw for a medical problem and pay for it,

* Furniture and Decorating, where they had to pay to remodel their homes,

* Entertainment, where they learned if they had money for extra-curricular activities,

* Legal, where they had to draw for legal situations and pay for them,

* Clothing, where the students could purchase new clothes if they had the money,

* Last Draw of Chance, where the students spun a wheel of fortune or misfortune,

* Month's End, where the students found out how much money they had at the end of the month, and

* Future Financial Planning, where they learned how to save and invest money.

Approximately 300 students attended Monday's event at North Clay Middle School.

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