ALAMOSA — Ortega Middle School hosted its annual “Reality Store” on Monday.
The event is an exercise that is designed to raise student awareness about financial responsibility with assistance from local businesses. The OMS gym was filled with students who made their way through a fictitious financial journey.
The process was really very simple. Students were required to assume the role of a 25-year-old parent and they were given a salary is based on their GPA. They were then tasked with determining the kind of lifestyle that they could have according to the salary they had been given and spend accordingly.
The students made their way through a variety of booths. The first stop was paying a visit to the “Uncle Sam” booth to pay taxes. Next they set up a checking and saving account at the bank booth courtesy of SLV Federal Bank. A visit to the housing booth was next. After the first three stops, students were free to visit any of the other booths as long as they stopped at each one. The other options that were available included transportation, insurance, utilities, childcare, medical, communication, clothing, entertainment, grocery, furniture, hair salon and, finally, the crystal ball.
If participants were running low on funds, they also had the option to visit the SOS booth for assistance. Once students visited all of the booths, their journey was complete.
The hope is that students come away with a better sense of what it is like to manage money and be responsible for and income and family.