Middle schoolers learn life lessons


“Real Money. Real World” was the topic of a program held for eighth graders at both Cardington and Mount Gilead middle schools on May 19-20.

Cardington Middle School Principal Eric Pettit said the program from The Ohio State University is part of the students’ Career Connections course in financial literacy.

About 20 volunteers staffed 15 booths throughout the morning as students were assigned a career, a monthly salary, and a specific number of children.

Each student visited various booths to make choices on spending based on their family situation.

After purchasing food, housing, clothing, insurance, and arranging for transportation, they hoped to have enough left over for medical needs and some entertainment.

Cardington student Braylen Braun said he was “surprised how complicated things got.” He had a low-paying job and always had to choose the lowest options.

“This is not fun,” one student exclaimed. “I’m never having any kids!”

Cardington eighth grader Kevin Brown found out his only solution to taking care of his three kids was to take a second job cleaning houses. His assigned income as a sales representative was $32,000, and he couldn’t pay his bills without that second job.

Students finished the morning program after turning in their self-assessment and paperwork showing their checkbook register and their final monthly net pay.

Pettit said the course is a great lesson for students in financial literacy. He found they really delved into the program and learn some very practical information.

The Real Money. Real World program was organized and coordinated by OSU Morrow County Extension Family and Consumer Science Educator Candace Heer and Becky Barker, 4-H Youth Development Extension educator, along with United Way of Morrow County Director Jodi Hayes.

Community volunteers who helped staff the booths at Cardington and Mount Gilead were Ann Artrip, Candida Doubikin, Darcie Hendrickson, Angela Powell, Dixie Shinaberry, Grace Walker, Lisa Meddles, Jessica Scott, Patti Jackson, Amber Moreland, Nicole Rich, Michelle Brown, Brooke Bihlman, Jamie Brucker, Kristen Thompson, Rhonda Justice, Erin Kelty and Allen Stojkovic.

Cardington Middle School teachers Diana McClure and Beau Wolford staffed a booth and were pleased to see how engaged the 60 eighth graders were with the project.

Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent for the Morrow County Sentinel.

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