KRA Staff and Students Visit "Reality Town"

Mandated by the Kentucky Education Reform Act, “Reality Town” introduces middle school students to different careers, the education and training needed for those careers, and the importance of good grades to make those careers a possibility. Most importantly, Reality Town exposes students to a “real” slice of life. Students are assigned careers based on their academics and given a salary based on that career. From their take-home pay (through which they learn the difference between “gross” and “net” income), they must buy a home and a car; purchase insurance (auto, home, health); pay for childcare, utilities, food, entertainment, and clothing…all the things that adults in real life must provide. They have to budget their money to ensure they can afford all these things, and they must purchase something from every booth/service provider. Students are hit with a big dose of reality as they experience for themselves that those cell phones they have…or want…come with a price tag; that clothes are expensive; that food costs a lot of money; and that electricity for all the lights they leave on is not cheap. All middle schools hold this activity annually and KRA staff members always volunteer at local schools to staff some of the “reality” booths. This year, Danelle Coomer worked the “bank” booth. Another KRA Career Counselor, Barb Hettmansperger, and Linda Cooper, KRA Program Manager, staffed the “insurance” booth.