Poplar Bluff Reality Fair Draws Over 300 Students
More than 300 high school students experienced firsthand what it takes to balance finances and handle household expenses, childcare costs and unexpected life events at a financial reality fair in Poplar Bluff. Sponsored by the Missouri Credit Union Charitable Foundation (MCUCF) and hosted by Poplar Bluff Federal Credit Union (PBFCU), the event took place at Three Rivers College in October.
Seven schools brought 317 students to the event, which was staffed by PBFCU representatives and volunteers from 40 nearby businesses.
Students received folders containing a randomly assigned occupation, income information, family breakdown, expenses and a checklist. Booths around the room corresponded to an item on the list—like buying a home or car. Business volunteers manned the booths and assisted students in completing the checklist included in their folders.
One student asked how credit cards worked. When the student learned that she would pay more than $1.20 for every dollar she spent on the card, she realized that she wouldn’t have enough money to make ends meet if she used the credit card too often.
“We’re trying to find ways to let them see the value of what they have and how to protect their families and future with wise financial management,” says Davine Conover, PBFCU Business Development Specialist, and event organizer.
Credit unions have sponsored financial literacy fairs across the state, with more planned in 2014.