Students go shopping at the Reality Store

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By Mike Marsee
michael.marsee@education.ky.gov

Get a job, start a family, pay your bills and try to live on the money you have left. Most adults know all about that, but it can be a foreign concept to youngsters who see their parents as unlimited sources of money and expect to be in a similar financial situation when they grow up.

The Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce gives 8th-grade students in Frankfort-area schools an idea of the financial obligations and obstacles they might face as adults through its Reality Store. The store gives students the chance to explore career opportunities and make lifestyle and budget choices similar to those adults face on a daily basis.

In the program, held recently at Frankfort Convention Center, students drew a family size at random and an occupation based on their current grade-point average. They were given a salary based upon their occupation and sent to booths, where some of that salary was deducted for necessities such as food, housing, utilities, transportation and taxes. Students could choose how to spend what remained.

The booths were manned by chamber of commerce staff members and volunteers, as well as representatives of local businesses that belong to the chamber.

Zyshonne Atkinson, right, bemoans his fate as Elkhorn Middle School (Franklin County) classmates Rosa Kennedy, center, and Kaylee Payton listen. Atkinson was complaining after learning about the cost of medical/dental services from Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce Member Services Director Suzy Hosley at the chamber’s Reality Store at the Frankfort Convention Center.
Zyshonne Atkinson, right, bemoans his fate as Elkhorn Middle School (Franklin County) classmates Rosa Kennedy, center, and Kaylee Payton listen. Atkinson was complaining after learning about the cost of medical/dental services from Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce Member Services Director Suzy Hosley at the chamber’s Reality Store at the Frankfort Convention Center.
Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 17, 2015
Elkhorn Middle School (Franklin County) mathematics teacher Laura Branham, left, advises 8th-grade student Hannah Gotshall at the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce Reality Store simulation at Frankfort Convention Center. Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 17, 2015
Elkhorn Middle School (Franklin County) mathematics teacher Laura Branham, left, advises 8th-grade student Hannah Gotshall at the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce Reality Store.
Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 17, 2015
Elkhorn Middle School (Franklin County) 8th-grade students line up to learn basic information such as their family size, occupation and salary at the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce Reality Store simulation at Frankfort Convention Center. Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 17, 2015
Elkhorn Middle School (Franklin County) 8th-grade students line up to learn basic information such as their family size, occupation and salary.
Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 17, 2015
Elkhorn Middle School (Franklin County) 8th-grade student Natasha Rowland checks out a sign as she gets advice on insurance coverage from Frankfort insurance agent RB Brown at the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce Reality Store simulation at Frankfort Convention Center. Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 17, 2015
Elkhorn Middle School (Franklin County) 8th-grade student Natasha Rowland checks out a sign as she gets advice on insurance coverage from Frankfort insurance agent RB Brown.
Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 17, 2015
Elkhorn Middle School (Franklin County) 8th-grade students Britney Moore and Tabitha Lancaster spend a few minutes in “jail” at the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce Reality Store simulation at Frankfort Convention Center. Students were incarcerated for such transgressions as tax evasion or failing to report for National Guard duty. Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 17, 2015
Elkhorn Middle School (Franklin County) 8th-grade students Britney Moore and Tabitha Lancaster spend a few minutes in “jail” at the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce Reality Store. Students were incarcerated for such transgressions as tax evasion or failing to report for National Guard duty.
Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 17, 2015
Cole Dudley, an 8th-grade student at Elkhorn Middle School (Franklin County), reacts after learning he would receive a $130 “tax refund” at the crystal ball at the Frankfort Area Chamber of Commerce Reality Store simulation at Frankfort Convention Center. Students could draw a card that might award them money or cost them money, but Stacy Lamb, who manned the booth, said about 80 percent of the cards had negative outcomes. Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 17, 2015
Cole Dudley, an 8th-grade student at Elkhorn Middle School (Franklin County), reacts after learning he would receive a $130 “tax refund” at the crystal ball. Students could draw a card that might award or cost them money, but Stacy Lamb, who manned the booth, said about 80 percent of the cards had negative outcomes.
Photo by Mike Marsee, Nov. 17, 2015

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