On Thursday, March 7, 2019, the eighth-graders at Clinton County Middle School and the students at Foothills Academy got a taste of the real world at Reality Town. This exercise is an effort to help students gain the knowledge necessary to set educational and career goals in order to obtain the lifestyles they want. The purpose of this event is to remind students that they can make choices now that will help them reach their goals.
Before entering Reality Town, students chose their careers and randomly selected cards to determine the number of children they had. They were required to move through all the booths in Reality Town. They began their adventure at the Uncle Sam booth, where taxes were subtracted from their gross monthly salaries. Next, each student visited the Bank booth to open a checking account and a savings account, if desired. Then students followed a Route Card to visit the remaining booths, including Housing, Utilities, Transportation, Insurance, Property Taxes, Medical / Dental, Health & Beauty, Child Care, Grocery, Furniture, Clothing, Communications, Entertainment, and Contributions. Fate intervened at the Crystal Ball booth with unexpected expenses and an occasional windfall. Volunteers at the S.O.S. booth assisted students who experienced difficulties, while the Supplemental Income booth was available for those who needed to find additional sources of funds - like a second job. At the Vice booth, students learned the high cost of smoking.
Reality Town is a collaborative project coordinated by Clinton County Cooperative Extension Service, Clinton County Middle School, CCMS Youth Services Center, 21st Century Community Learning Center, Migrant Education, and Community Education. Reality Town was funded through contributions by First & Farmer’s National Bank, Monticello Banking Company, and People’s Bank and Trust of Clinton County. We especially appreciate all of the community volunteers who helped make Reality Town a success.