A group of students plays a budgeting game designed to look like Monopoly.

REAL Life program bolsters financial literacy of PMHS juniors

All Penn Manor High School juniors have learned practical financial lessons from the REAL Life financial literacy program, held October 26 and 27 in the high school gymnasium.

Sponsored by Junior Achievement of South Central PA, REAL Life uses exercises and games to help students understand how financial decisions will impact their lives during high school and into adulthood.

Students participated in a budgeting simulation called Budget Builder, in which they were assigned a unique life situation, including marital status, number of children (if any), education, employment, and income.

They had to determine how much of their income was available to them each month after taxes, insurance, utilities and car payments and allocate their money as they completed their budget, led by an adult volunteer from the business world.

Another activity was “Is the Price Right?” In this competition, students worked in groups to try to guess the prices of common household items.

The 11th-graders also learned how to create their own personal “brand” and competed in REAL Life #Adulting, a game resembling the Game of Life, in which they encountered financial challenges as they moved their pieces around the board.

REAL Life also included a session on job interviewing tips. All of these hands-on activities were led by community volunteers representing a variety of careers, with assistance from Penn Manor students.

In all, about 450 students participated in the program.

“REAL Life allows our students to gain an understanding of financial decisions that they may have to make just a few years down the road,” said Michael Fowler, Penn Manor High School assistant principal.  “It really is great watching our students interact with community members and teachers as they rotate through these meaningful activities.

Penn Manor would like to thank Junior Achievement and the volunteer presenters for making this event possible.

  • A group of students plays a budgeting game designed to look like Monopoly.