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‘Get a Life’ program teaches financial literacy at Man Middle

November 21, 2017

MAN — Man Middle School students learned financial literacy in a unique way recently through the “Get a Life” program.

The game was developed by Fairmont State University for state Treasurer John Perdue’s NetWorth program. The goal of the program is to teach West Virginia students about managing personal finances through a budget simulation. Students are first given a red card with a job title, family size and monthly income. The red cards only have jobs available in West Virginia without any post-secondary education, such as college or a trade school.

After the students buy a car, house, insurance, groceries, furniture and gas, they trade in their red card for a green one, but not before the Green Reaper stops by. The Green Reaper hands out “accident” cards. Sometimes a student will get a puppy, other times a flat tire, but either way, students are handed an everyday situation that requires them to spend money.

Youusuallyseethestu “You usually see the students trying to hide from him,” said Brian Kirkendoll, regional marketing manager at West Virginia State Treasury Department. “It’s always interesting to watch them work through these situations.”

The students are usually in debt when playing with the life given to them by the red cards. The green cards give the students a better job, one only acquired through post-secondary education. When they finish with their green card, they usually have money left over.

By demonstrating money management by allowing the students to see how easy it is to fall into debt without personal finance skills, they are better able to comprehend the importance of post-secondary education.

Members of the community volunteer to run each table, making the experience as accurate a representation of the area the students live in as possible.

The program has been presented at other area middle and high schools during the 2017-18 school year. For more information, or to schedule a “Get a Life” event, call the Financial Education Programs division at 304-558-5000.

Nancy Peyton is a news reporter for HD Media. Follow her on Twitter @NancyMPeyton.

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