April 22, 2016

Local Professionals to Host BHS Reality Fair on April 28

Contact: Amy Vetrone
Phone: 920.354.4055
Email: avetrone@myfirstnational.com

Berlin, Wisconsin— Balancing your checkbook. Paying for your living expenses. Saving your money. Donating to charity. Preparing for an interview. Understanding employment expectations. These are all important life lessons that Berlin High School (BHS) Juniors will experience at the BHS Reality Fair. Scheduled for Thursday, April 28, from 12:30 p.m. – 3 p.m. at the Berlin High School, approximately 30 area business professionals and community members will be on-hand.

During the Reality Fair, students will be split into two groups—spending half of their time talking with area professionals about employment expectations and the other half simulating real-life money management scenarios.

“A Reality Fair allows students to be part of real-life simulations,” explained Amy Vetrone, 1st National Bank Financial Literacy Coordinate and Reality Fair Coordinator. “Experiencing these scenarios with area professionals provides a fun, hands-on learning opportunity that students can continue to reference even years from now.”

As part of the Reality Fair, students will be assigned a life status, which includes an occupation and marital status. They are then required to visit the assigned stations and pay their monthly bills based on the choices they have made—while writing checks and balancing a checkbook. In order to complete the program, students must hold a positive balance in both their checking and savings accounts.

“With a goal of maintaining a positive balance in their accounts, students will need to exercise good budgeting skills,” added Vetrone. “Our hope is that this experience enables them to understand what it takes to develop and maintain proper money management skills.”

“Many students do not have the opportunity to experience this type of reality check,” said Katie Gellings, Family Living Educator, Instructor of Green Lake County UW-Extension and member of the Reality Fair planning committee. “The Reality Fair will be an important experiential learning event for the students at Berlin High School, as they begin to look ahead at becoming a part of the workforce or going to college.”

Area professionals planning this event include: Amy Vetrone and Melissa Gustin, 1st National Bank; Catherine Kujawa, Farmers & Merchants Bank; Cathy Hargrave, Thrivent Financial, and Katie Gellings, UW-Extension of Green Lake County.

Local businesses or community members interested in helping at the Reality Fair may contact Amy Vetrone at 855.876.1500.