Students in Hope High School Family and Consumer Sciences classes got a dose of reality recently.
Hempstead County Extension Agent Terrie James, along with staff from the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture Research and Extension across four counties, and Hope/Hempstead County community volunteers guided the students through the “Get Real – Here’s the Deal” life skills exercise.
“’Get Real – Here’s the Deal’ is a hands-on experiential simulation that gives young people the opportunity to experience their future in a financial decision-making mode,” James said. “The students are encouraged to make wise financial lifestyle choices similar to those that adults face each month.”
The exercise is broken into 12 components representing scenarios from different aspects of adult life, including:
Basic Nutrients – Learning about good nutrition while budgeting grocery purchases.
Child Care – Students assigned to family simulations must make decisions about the feasibility, cost and availability of child care.
Comfortable Living – Getting the sticker shock of the decision between renting and owning a place to live reflects both possibilities.
Entertainment Extravaganza – Can you realistically afford all the fun stuff?
Has It All Mall – Buying household and family needs requires choices.
Mirror, Mirror – Being a fashion plate may take something off the dinner plate.
Money Counts – Learning financial practices, loan acquisition, and managing debt is not always money in the bank.
Moving On Up – How does redefining lifestyle and goals with more education or skills training affect upward mobility?
Protecting Your Assets – The value and importance of insurance, warranties and other asset services has to be considered.
Transportation Station – Should the student buy a car, rent a car, use public transportation or other means of getting about?
Utility Connection – Monthly home environmental and municipal services must be factored into the budget.
“As students move from station to station they make decisions based on their family size and affordability,” James said.
Students from the Family and Consumer Sciences classes taught by Noraann Cummings and Michele Lloyd participated in the exercise.
Volunteers included Hope Public Schools Nutrition Director Deanna Gilbert, Hempstead County Tax Assessor Kim Smith, Hempstead County Treasurer Judy Flowers, Ebony Howe, Hempstead County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Steve Harris, Josh Jones, Racie Poindexter, Patricia Rowe, Nancy Hightower, Kara Lee, Kim Rowe, Amanda Lance, Kandi Williams, Bonnie Raff, Betty Wingfield, Kim Hollis, Susie Malone, and Terrie James.