On Monday, November 20th the Warwick eighth grade students got to partake in a unique event known as the, “Middle School Financial Reality Fair” presented by the Lanco Federal Credit Union, sponsored by the Pennsylvania Credit Union Association.
The main purpose of the event was to provide students with exposure to a real-life budgeting experience, like how to deal with car repairs, pay for a broken laptop, or what to do with unexpected doctors visits. Students would receive a sheet of paper with a job and salary. They would then spin the “Wheel of Reality,” and whichever situation it landed on the student would then figure out how to budget and deal with that real-life experience.
The Reality Fair was focused on getting students to understand that balancing and keeping a budget is not a simple task. This is a part of life that students are going to have to learn about in the coming years.
Steve Turpin, the business development manager for Lanco Federal Credit Union led the event. He supplied all the materials and stations, along with 10 volunteers. There were approximately 15 parent volunteers, as well as a handful of district office staff.
“The Reality Fair was a tremendous success. It engaged each student individually in a real-world, meaningful exercise that will lead to further discussions about budgeting. Throughout the activity and for the rest of the day students talked about the event. I have had both teachers and parents communicate to me how beneficial they felt the activity was for our students. We really want to force them to think with a future focused mindset,” said Warwick Middle School Principal, Steve Szobocsan.
This was the first year the Warwick Middle School held the event, but they are looking to make this happen annually moving forward.