Students experience the School of Hard Knocks
Berkeley Springs High School juniors had a chance to see how juggling monthly bills works in real world in the School of Hard Knocks on April 25.
The program was designed to teach students financial literacy, said high school guidance counselor Candice Pennington. It was held in the school gymnasium.
Students researched a career and calculated their monthly income, she said. They rolled a dice to see how many kids they had and if they were married or single.
Teens then visited booths manned by community and student volunteers that represented real world monthly expenses or situations. Students had to deduct those expenses from their income.
Expenditures included house, school or car loans, rent, child care, pet care, physicians, vision/dental care, utilities, taxes, health/home/auto insurance, vehicle repairs, travel and entertainment, groceries, fitness, pharmacy, telephone and Internet service, legal fees, home repairs and furnishings.
Groceries were estimated for families of two to eight people at a budget, moderate and gourmet level.
Students were required to do the Wheel of Fortune, which represented the unexpected curveballs that life could hand out like the expense of a speeding ticket, a divorce, a car accident, a flooded basement or a plane ticket to attend a family funeral. It could also bring a bonus or raise at work or winning the lottery.
Junior Michael Trump did the simulation cast as an astronomer who was a single dad with two kids. He discovered that “child care is very, very expensive.”
Zach Wise went through the program portraying an FBI agent who was married with two kids. His spin on the Wheel of Fortune doled out a speeding ticket for going 75 miles an hour in a 55 mile an hour zone. He learned from Sheriff Vince Shambaugh at the police station booth that the offense had a $150 fine.
Pennington said the School of Hard Knocks was done a couple of years ago for sophomores. They plan to hold the program every year for juniors.