Glenwood Springs sophomores earn smart money in financial literacy simulation
In a valley that is only getting more expensive, being smart about money is a must for many.
For sophomores at Glenwood Springs High School – and Bridges High School – a mock monthly budget put their practice portfolio to the test. On December 2, lining the school gymnasium with fictitious sellers for housing, services, insurance, second jobs, and other monthly budget factors, the students tried to make the results work in the financial simulation of Reality Town.
After completing a questionnaire describing their professional interests, students were randomly assigned a family size and then a job based on their responses and their current GPA.
âIn class, they chose an area of ââprofessional interest like agriculture or whatever, and when they dug a little deeper and looked for jobs they were interested in, they had to put on their surrogacy, which unfortunately took a lot out. , unfortunately, âsaid Jill Wilson, a financial literacy teacher at Glenwood Springs High School. “They are sophomores, so their GPA hasn’t quite hit them yet.”
The surrogacy scheme was part of the overarching message of thinking about literacy and the future in high school, Wilson said.
Students were tasked with going from booth to booth, weighing different options for internet, accommodation, type of vehicle, insurance coverage against their total budget. This gave the students a hands-on approach to the things they learn in the financial literacy classroom.
âIt shows you the real effects of your own actions,â said Carlos Silva, a student at Glenwood Springs, who has been given the job of roller coaster designer. âYour parents say, ‘Hey, you’ve got to do good or you’re going to work in construction.’ It shows you how to be careful with your money and not live from paycheck to paycheck. â
The vendors were made up of local volunteers, ranging from Rotary to Kiwanis to businesses.
Some have chosen to be represented there because the financial literacy of their clients is important to their business model. Financial consultancy firm Dalby, Wendland & Co. had tax supervisor Katie Taylor to manage the property tax booth.
âGetting kids involved in this stuff and exposing them to the world and all the costs involved by themselves is a good idea,â Taylor said. âWe have a lot of small business owners, which is a pretty popular job with a lot of these kids. It’s just an opportunity to educate them, and it’s always a way of figuring out how to make financial literacy more common knowledge and break it down into more simplistic terms.
Wilson said she got a grant from the Colorado attorney general’s office to host the literacy fair in addition to a $ 15,000 district grant, which was used to purchase the kit of materials and fund the event.
Colorado is currently not one of the states that mandates financial literacy in high school programs. Wilson said the Glenwood Springs offerings are even larger simply based on where the students live.
âI talk about it a lot with my students because they’ll hear, like, the national average for a house is this, and I’m like ‘No, not here,’â Wilson said. “We talk a lot about having an emergency fund and not taking on debt.”
For students, it’s a tangible way to start thinking about money – and their schoolwork – before it’s too late to change course, if necessary.
âIt’s like real life, in a way,â said student Ramon Segovia. “You have to have a good GPA to get into a good college, and you have to go to college to get good things.”
Journalist Rich Allen can be reached at 970-384-9131 or [email protected]