600 8th graders from area schools got a lesson in real life during
the 8th Grade Reality Store held at Spoon River College on the Canton Campus on
Friday, March 21.
annual event gives students the opportunity to choose a career, learn about the
education and training required for that career and the salary that can be
expected, and receive a “paycheck” that reflects the monthly starting salary
for that particular career – minus taxes.
reality sets in as participants – some of whom will be assigned a spouse and
children – visit several stations where they must pay their bills; housing
costs, car expenses and insurance, clothing, child care, groceries and health
insurance. If they are lucky, they have enough left to visit the entertainment
station. The “month” concludes with a spin on the wheel of fortune, where
unexpected windfalls or expenses– like winning a radio contest or an emergency
veterinary bill – await them.
goal is to present them with concrete information about many different career
choices and the education required for them, while also preparing them a bit
for real life in a fun way,” said Brandi Ketcham, advisor in the student
services office at Spoon River College. “And maybe, the next time mom or dad
tells them ‘No, we can’t afford that right now’ when they want something, they
will understand a little better.”
presenters for the day included: Dr. Jason Chamberlin (health care); Tamatha
Schleich (nursing); Erika Leighton (physical therapy); Steve Flinn
(electronics), Rob Swegle (construction trades); Joe Clemons (diesel repair
technician); Mark Coulter (manufacturing/welding); Dr. Anthony Eaton
(veterinary medicine); Nerissa McClelland (conservation); Dee Clark (business
owner); John Davis (musician); Paige Edwards (graphic artist); Kayleigh Berry
(photographer); Nick Tinsman (lawyer); Carol Blackfelner and Claudia Moss
(education); Kent McDowell and Josh Wages (law enforcement); Innovations Design
Academy (cosmetology); Mallory Jarvis (counselor/psychologist), and Jason
Palmer (athletic trainer).
participating were Astoria, Bushnell-Prairie City, Canton Ingersoll, Macomb,
New Horizons, Spoon River Valley, and VIT. Pictures of the event can be viewed on the Spoon River College Facebook