TOP PHOTO: On Friday morning, eighth graders at La Follette Middle School learned about real world budgeting and had an interactive experience to develop their financial literacy skills.
LAFOLLETTE, TN (WLAF) – Sarah Huddleston was hit with an $800 home repair bill. Eli Lee signed up for utilities. Destiny Higginbotham purchased insurance for her car. No, these aren’t adults, these are some of the 155 8th graders learning about “life after school” in GEAR UP TN’s Adulting 101 Game. Friday morning at La Follette Middle School 13 and 14-year old students dined on a big serving of real life in the school cafeteria.
“This is our fourth year of Adulting 101. It all began through our local GEAR UP with Monica Bane. Mrs. Bane has loaned the material to make it happen,” said Linda Prim, School Counselor, La Follette Middle School. The objective of the 90-minute game is to stimulate real world budgeting and provide students with an interactive experience to develop financial literacy skills. While the game is based in the fictional city of Volunteer Station, the salaries and prices in the game are based entirely on real life estimates from a mid-sized, growing city here in Tennessee.
The game takes place over the course of one fictional month in the players’ lives after graduating from high school. Each student is randomly assigned a career, salary and life scenario. The careers in the game vary widely and represent a range of salaries and post-secondary educational requirements. As students move through the game, they will make “life” purchases like housing, transportation, food and more from the different stations around the room while managing their budget to make sure they don’t run out of money.
A “Who Am I” card is then drawn by students out of a deck of cards. Students may not return or exchange their cards.
Who Am I? cards contain the following information: Career/Job…Career cluster…Annual salary…Job description…Degree/Certification Required. If the career does not require a degree/certificate, the TN Reconnect Eligible field will indicate that the player is eligible to visit the Reconnect booth during the game…Monthly salary…Family description…Minimum number of bedrooms required when purchasing a home or renting an apartment from TN Treasures Real Estate…Number in Family…Monthly additions/deductions based on family details, for example – child care expenses…Partner’s Monthly Salary…Monthly household income
The eight different stations students will visit throughout the game are:
• New Wheels Dealership – Price list of cars for sale
• TN Treasures Real Estate – Listing of homes for sale and apartments for rent.
• Plugged In Energy – Price list for essential (gas, water, sewer, trash, etc) and non-essential (cable, internet, etc)
• Just in Case Insurance – List of insurance prices, student insurance cards, stickers to indicate insurance purchases
on student insurance cards
• Get Goin’ Gas Station – Monthly price list of gas based on home location
• Super Foods Market – List of monthly grocery expenses based on family size
• Smoky Mountain One Stop shop – Price list for appliances, furniture, and electronics
• Dogwood Medical Center – Diagnosis cards
Then there’s the Green Reaper. She makes her way around the stations throwing students curves that are a part of life and happen to all of us. The Green Reaper doles out life’s unforeseen events like a flat tire, home repairs and a higher than usual utility bill.
Twenty community volunteers came out to help make Adulting 101 possible. “We could not begin to do this without the support of our community volunteers,” said Prim.
As students begin another week of school today, LMS 8th graders have a whole new perspective about life. (WLAF NEWS PUBLISHED – 03/14/2022-6AM)