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Students learn financial literacy during `Reality Fair’

Eastview High School students received a dose of financial reality this fall participating in a “Reality Fair” sponsored by Wings Financial. Alongside credit union advisors and high school staff, students navigated through various life milestone stations meant to educate them about the importance of fiscal responsibility.

Business and marketing teacher Ericka Phelps teaches five sections of an elective called money management. In the course, students study a variety of financial topics such as saving and investing, retirement planning and credit cards. She said the reality fair is a way to expose her students to life from a financial perspective. 

“The biggest benefit for high school students is to see the cost of things,” Phelps said. “The reality is life costs money, and if students want to be financially successful, it’s imperative they understand that so they can prepare for their future.”

At the fair, each student received a folder assigning them a career, providing family information and a worksheet to guide them through the different life milestone stations. Based on their income, students navigate buying or renting housing, how much to spend at the grocery store, paying utilities and other bills, even spinning the wheel of fate. Seniors Mackenzie and Mackayla Chisholm both had stable employment as part of their experience but found the cost of groceries and daycare to be the most eye opening.

“I think this is really helpful because I didn’t realize how much we actually spend on things we need and things we may not need,” Mackenzie said. “It all adds up, even the little things.”

Eastview is the second District 196 high school to host the Wings Financial Reality Fair. Last year, Apple Valley High School offered the experience to students. 

“I want my students to walk away from this experience with the understanding of why financial planning is key,” Phelps said. “If they start early they can live a financially stable life in no matter what career path they choose.”