The staff along with the seventh and eighth grade students at Merritt Jr. High held a Reality Fair on March 21 in order to expose the students to a taste of real world experiences.
Also known as a “Financial Reality Fair,” the event was designed to be an interactive financial literacy tool for high school students.
The students were issued checkbooks to make payments and track their spending.
The concept affords a unique opportunity for students to experience some of the financial challenges they will face when they start life on their own. It’s a hands‐on experience in which students identify their career choices and starting salaries then complete a budget sheet requiring them to live within their monthly salary while paying for basics such as housing, utilities, transportation, clothing, and food.
Additional expenditures such as entertainment and travel are factored in as well. Throughout the fair, there are many temptations for additional spending, and students must learn to balance their wants and needs to live on their own.
After the students visited the various booths covering the components of independent living, they balanced their budgets and then checked-out in order to receive either a Payday or Zero candy bar, based on the money left in their accounts.