United Way of Central Kansas is brining Reality U back to Great Bend Middle School for the 3rd year. With the support of numerous sponsors and the Great Bend Middle School Booster Club, we are setting out to teach this year’s 8th graders about personal finance in a fun and engaging way.
These lucky 8th graders will imagine their life as a 26-year old and complete an on- line lifestyle survey, including questions about their occupation, marital status, use of credit cards, and their current grade point average. This information is entered into a trademarked software program that links their answers to a unique scenario that is individualized for each student. These scenarios are distributed to them the day of the event.
Each scenario includes the student’s monthly income, credit card debt, student loan information, as well as marital and family status. The students are to transfer this information into their student passport (similar to a checkbook register) and then make purchases at the twelve booths that represent services and/or products that adults typically must purchase or consider each month.
Students have the opportunity to learn how their decisions impact their bottom line as they try to make decisions that won’t result in their check register falling below zero! Sometimes they must return a “purchase” and make a different decision. This event actively engages the students to help them understand the importance of education to their financial future. It also engages the community in supporting student learning and developing their understanding of the world of work.
Throughout the day, students also go into breakout sessions to dive deeper into how the choices that they make now will impact their future. These sessions include; The Reality After High School, The Reality of High School, The Cost of Delinquency, Making a Plan, and Personal Finance.
This event would not be possible without the support of our sponsors; Adams, Brown, Beran, & Ball, Benefit Management, LLC, Best Western Angus Inn, City of Great Bend, Credit Union of America, Farmers Bank & Trust, First Kansas Bank, Marmie Auto Group, MPIRE Realty, Nex-Tech, Nex-Tech Wireless, Spectrum CPA, University of Kansas Health Systems-Great Bend, and Wheatland Electric. Numerous individuals and organizations also assist with this program by speaking throughout the day to the students in the breakout sessions, and the Great Bend Middle School Booster Club will be providing lunch for all the volunteers.