The fifth annual Polk School District Reality Fair is scheduled to take place on Feb. 6 at Rockmart High School.
Katie Thomas, Career, Technical, Agricultural and Education (CTAE) director said the program provides students with an opportunity to learn more about choosing a career pathway. It also gives them a taste of real-world reality as they are given a scenario that teaches them to budget money and balance work and family responsibilities.
“We’ve have a lot of feedback from parents and students, and it’s all positive,” Thomas said.
Students at the Reality Fair will receive a folder with a career the student has expressed interest in and information stating the career’s average monthly salary.
Adding to the experience, students at the fair will be randomly assigned a marital status and whether or not they have children.
Once the students receive their folders, they have to visit various booths staffed by community volunteers and teachers to pay out monthly expenses for housing, transportation, utilities, insurance and groceries.
If they have any money left over, they can visit booths for entertainment, travel or furniture.
Students who do not have enough funds to cover expenses can visit “out of money” booths to speak with the employment office, parents or financial advisers for help.
“The fair tells students how much money a career pays, and how much it costs to buy groceries, take care of kids and all kinds of combinations,” interim Superintendent Ray
Hammett said. “Occasionally they may walk away saying well maybe I don’t want to go with this career after all, and that’s just as important.”
Displays and teachers for each of Polk School District’s ten CTAE programs will be available for students once they are done with the booths.
Hammett said that teachers would be available to help students needing additional information. “For instance if a student is interested in a health occupation field such as nursing, they can go speak with them.”
According to Hammett, the fair lasts about an hour. Students from Cedartown Middle School are scheduled to participate in the morning and Rockmart students will go in the afternoon.
The fair and CTAE presentation are precursors to registering for classes for the 2013-2014 school year.