|By David Broyles, The Mount Airy News, N.C.|
|McClatchy-Tribune Information Services|
"We try to use assessments from students to match them to professions they would like to be in," said
Stammetti said participants then enter the Real World's stations where they can "shop." These stations (or exhibits) were housing, entertainment, clothing, communication, transportation, health insurance, cell phone, groceries, childcare, next payday, new friend and a "stuff happens" table.
She explained participants make decisions based on their needs and are required to stay within their budget. They are asked to obtain housing, insurance, transportation, utilities and decide if they will have health insurance. The stuff happens card is later played. Participants are told to buy whatever they want after they have purchased the fixed items.
"They hit the floor for the real world with a salary and their check book," Stammetti said. "They have to be financially smart. If they go over budget we make them go back and decide what to do to stay on budget. We are able to do this through a grant and the community has been so wonderful with donations from our breakfast to the gift bags for the students. We had a very small budget to work from for this."
"They will see child care is a huge expense and another part of this is to make them aware of the consequences of dropping out," said Goodrum. "What I'm trying to do is transition into bill-paying, hard-working adults. The reality they see through this is very different from what they understand. This is only one program like this that's out there. We try to make it simple and it's an eye opener to them."
SECU Financial Service Representative
"You are never too old to learn how to manage you money better," said Gipple."I think this is a good program and I'm excited for the students. As a credit union, we are more community centered."
Lowe's Home Improvement's Mount Airy Manager
"From our standpoint this better prepares children who could be future employees for us," said Cothren. "They truly need to see how the real world impacts their life. I think education today overall has more real world exposure and that differs from what I remember from school. There is more problem solving. This program is a learning opportunity. Not every learning experience is in just the classroom."
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