Kathy Dietrich, an 8th grade teacher at Lake Hazel Middle School in Boise, ID (and wife of CTA mechanical designer Tom Dietrich), enlisted some CTA staff members to aid in a pair of recent events at her school. Architect Brock Martinson and electrical engineer Tyler Victorino presented at Career Day in Mrs. Dietrich’s class. And Tom, Joe Ransom, Eric Packer, and Spencer Shepard helped man stations during Lake Hazel’s Reality Town activity.
Afterwards, Mrs. Dietrich wrote CTA a kind thank you note that outlined the importance of the Reality Town experience for Lake Hazel students:
Thank you, CTA, for contributing to the success of Reality Town.
Reality Town is focused on giving 8th grade students an experience that speaks to the importance of financial responsibility. Students are assigned random careers based on their GPA from the beginning of 8th grade year to mid-semester. As students move from station to station, they must wrestle with monthly costs based on their pay stub. (We had 70 volunteers from the community.) They will specifically contend with the household monthly income. Everyone has a family with children. Not everyone has two incomes, though. Their profile will give them specifics.
The hope is that as students purchase a house, utilities, car, insurance, child care, groceries, etc., they will begin to understand where some of their parents’ income goes, and it will also influence future decision-making for them. Students must make choices having to do with pet ownership, entertainment, cell phones, computers, and so much more. Everything revolves around income! Everyone must purchase clothing based on their profession. They can even invest money for the future. Going to the doctor and dentist, as well as “Just My Luck” holds some interesting surprises, too. Sometimes, it can lead to a positive cash flow, but usually not. A trip to the emergency room can be devastating to the checkbook. Taking a dog to the vet never ends up as cash in the pocket, and yes, they do have to eat just like us!
Alas, some students found that they needed to seek supplemental income or visit the recruitment office for a more positive cash flow. All-in-all, students had fun, struggled a bit with all of the responsibility tossed at them, and learned a great deal!
Without all of our volunteers, this would not have been possible. Thank you so much for volunteering!
Main image: Tyler Victorino (left) and Brock Martinson describe CTA’s firm capabilities, including site planning.
Small image 1: Mrs. Dietrich’s students listen attentively to Martinson’s and Victorino’s Career Day presentation.
Small image 2: Tom Dietrich, Eric Packer, and Joe Ransom pause for a pic before their shifts at Reality Town.
Small image 3: Spencer Shepard (far left) and Tom Dietrich (center of green table) help man Reality Town’s “Utilities” and “Charitable Donations” booths, respectively. Per Dietrich, his table required students allocate a minimum of $10 of their monthly income to donations.