STARKE COUNTY – Each year school counselors from North Judson-San Pierre, Culver, Oregon-Davis, and Knox schools coordinate the annual Reality Store for area 8th grade students. This year’s Reality Store will be held on Wednesday, November 16, 2016, at Knox Middle School.
The purpose of the Reality Store is to teach students about the impact of the decisions they are making right now and how those decisions will affect the rest of their lives. Students are provided with an occupation and a budget and different scenarios, i.e., college vs. no college, married, kids, pets, etc., and they visit the many booths, which include banks for mortgages, car loans, utilities, insurance, child care, clothing, food, veterinarian, gym memberships, entertainment, etc. They get a feel for life in the “real world.”
It is certainly an eye opener for the students. Many local businesses participate in the event lending their true-to-life talents, including banks, utilities, insurance companies, colleges, County Probation office, attorneys, retail stores, veterinary clinics, and fitness centers to name a few.
The students come away from the event with a sense of, wow, that’s how life really works? A couple of students are invited each year to attend a school board meeting following the event to discuss their thoughts and experiences about the Reality Store.