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CJHS 8th grader Anastasia Moistner signs her imaginary children up for daycare with the help of BPW Volunteer Tina Suarez.

Students Cash Their Reality Checks

By Rob Sussman, WJBD News

It was the school of hard knocks for area 8th graders on Friday as students visited the "Reality Store" at Centralia Jr. High School. The Reality Store is a simulation presented by the Centralia Business and Professional Women's Club where students pick a career, recieve a budget, and then go around to several stations paying bills, buying a car and home, paying for food and child care. The goal of the game is for students to maintain their budget for an entire month. BPW Vice President Beth Galacia.

"We call it 'Reality Store' because we try to help the 8th graders walk away with an idea on how to make a budget work" said Galacia.

It's easier said than done. This reporter went through the game with a modest monthly budget, and ended up bankrupt and in jail over an unpaid speeding ticket. Some students had a much better time, Centralia Jr. High Students Yasmene Strayhorn and Annie Weathers both decided to go through the game as Athletic Coaches and ended the game with a surplus in their bank accounts after making sound economic choices.

The game gave students a bit of perspective as to how the so called "real world" actually works. Simon Scott played the game as a Mechanical Engineer.

"It felt like a slap in the face" Scott said about having to pay an insurance bill, "It really puts a drain on your bank [account]"

The event is put on by the Centralia BPW for over 20 years. Volunteers assisted from Kaskaskia College and the Centralia Rotary Club.

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