ARCANUM—The Arcanum-Butler Local School District held it’s first ever Reality Fair on Friday afternoon.
A Reality Fair is a simulation of an adult’s financial life that provides students with an interactive experience for making real world financial decisions and managing money.
Over the week, Arcanum eighth graders were given four days of instruction in their history classes. By the end of the week they had obtained a job with a salary. At the ‘Reality Fair,’ they have to select housing, transportation, childcare.
“I had a couple teachers comment that they wanted to do a Reality Fair for our eighth graders,” Jason Vince, Arcanum Middle School Principal, said.
Vince added that he started organizing the Reality Fair in the fall with help from Rhonda Williams of the Darke County OSU Ext. Office.
“This program is valuable because it exposes kids to real life,” he said. “Our kids sometimes get into a little bit of a vacuum about what they’re doing. They are junior high kids in Arcanum. Some of them have never been outside Arcanum, so this is a great opportunity to get them thinking, and learning things they may not have known from experts. We tell them all of the time, but now it’s from somebody else within the field.”
The four days of instruction were taught by history teacher Colton Troutwine, with Erin Tegtmeyer and Jaimee Garbig, middle school intervention specialists and eighth grade class advisors, spearheading the event.
“It’s going incredible,” Vince said. “Today we will see how it goes. We’ve split everyone into two groups, about 40 kids at a time will come down. They will go through their life skills stuff, we’ll bring the second group down, then grab lunch and afterwards have an eighth grade celebration.”
Tegtmeyer added that she first saw a similar event years ago with the special education department at Mississinawa Valley Schools.
“I thought it would be a great idea to do it with our eighth graders to prepare them to enter high school,” she said. “We hope this will be an annual thing from now on.”