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Sat, Dec 16, 2017 11:11 AM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
Dollars and Sense
WARFIELD — The Warfield-Pigeon Roost Family Resource Center and the Martin County Extension Office held a "4-H Dollars and Sense" program April 29 at Pigeon Roost Elementary and May 1 at Warfield Elementary School.

This program is a spinoff of the Reality Store, which is held for high school students. "Dollars and Sense" focused on the fifth grade. Students received an allowance for a given month and then had the opportunity to spend that allowance at the booths provided.

Students were given an equal amount of money to spend during the time of the program. This would be considered their allowance for the month. Each student was required to visit 15 booths including pet care, toy store, department store, and candy store. Each booth represented what students at that age level would most want. Of course, the students did not have to pay for their housing as students at the "Reality Store" did, but they were able to change their room decorations and belongings at a cost. Most students were given the responsibility of a pet. Some did not have any pets.

At the end of the program, students were to have realized that proper budgeting is not always an easy task, there is a difference between needed items and desired items, wise financial choices make it easier to stay within their budget, and what they have to show for the amount of money they spent.

"I used play money," WPRT director Denise Stepp said. "They had a visual and it made the whole situation more real. If they were in financial trouble there was an SOS booth for financial help."

The SOS booth did not loan money. Instead, Jean Schmidt, the volunteer who ran the booth, would explain to the student what items on their list was necessary. In some cases, the student had to return an expensive item and purchase a cheaper one. For example, one student purchased a four wheeler for their transportation and was forced to return it so that they could buy necessities. One student had to return a pair of name brand sandals because their cost was too high for his budget.

Those students who were able to go through the 15 booths and still have money left over received a Payday candy bar. Those who could not received a life saver piece of candy.

"The 4-H motto is to make the best, better," 4-H Extension agent Terressa Stanaford said. "We feel that it is never too early to impress upon our youth the importance of sound financial management. To expose them to early exercises of money management and decision making skills, such as the 4-H Dollars and Sense program, will lay the foundation they will need to learn wiser financial practices in the future. Of course, such educational events could not be possible without the efforts of volunteers who works so hard to help see that our young people are taught the skills they need to live their lives as happy, productive citizens."

The program met the core content for economics for the CATS testing for fifth graders and was coordinated by Denise Stepp, Assistant FRC directors Terrie Simpkins and Jody Hammonds, and 4-H agent Terresa Stanford.

ARH 2
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