Over the course of three days, more than 1,000 Racine Unified School District juniors were part of a special simulation to prepare them for their adult life.
It’s called Reality Check Day. Using an app, students start the program by picking a career. They are then assigned a monthly income based on regional averages for their job. Students are then randomly assigned a spouse, children, pets and a credit score.
Once their information is in order, students enter the “world.” A dozen tables cover the room and serve as merchants. The volunteers at the table sell everything from housing to vehicles to cell phone plans. Students visit most of the tables and must leave the room with a positive account balance. Students say they walk away from Reality Check Day with a valuable lesson.
“(I learned) to manage my money the right way,” says Park High School junior Willie Adams. “If you spend all your money, you won’t have it when you need it the most.”
Educators Credit Union brings the financial simulation to students across southern Wisconsin throughout the school year. RUSD is one of the districts that make it part of their curriculum for all of the district’s juniors. This is the third year Educators brought the program to the junior class, but the two organizations have partnered together for over 15 years.
“We truly appreciate the commitment Racine Unified has made to giving their students financial literacy lessons,” said Educators Credit Union’s Director of Community Engagement Victor Frasher. “If you are taught budgeting and money management before you’ve entered the workforce, you’re more likely to make better decisions later on in life.”
Educators Credit Union has already brought Reality Check Day to over 2,000 students this school year. We still have ten schools and hundreds of students scheduled to go through the program before the end of the 2020 school year.