The 16th annual Reality Daze will be held on Wednesday, March 14, at the Westby Fieldhouse. Approximately 75 volunteers will be positioned at various life-reality booths to provide students with purchasing information and financial counseling as they make their way from station-to-station before undergoing an exit interview.
High school junior and senior students from area schools including, Westby, Viroqua, North Crawford, La Farge, Kickapoo, De Soto, Hillsboro, and Cashton get the chance to preview life in the real world during the annual Reality Daze project.
Reality Daze is funded through a Carl Perkin’s Grant by each individual district represented at the event. Each school has a representative serving on the Reality Daze Committee, with Westby represented by Amanda Langrehr, the high school business education teacher.
The interactive program was designed to introduce students to money management skills, allow interaction with community business leaders and educate students on the importance of exercising smart budgeting skills throughout life. Prior to attending the event, students chose an occupation and were provided an average salary for their career choice. Upon arrival students are provided with a computer-generated, randomly-selected, life status geared toward people between the ages of 25 to 30 years old, fresh out of college and living independently.
Their “life status” identifies them as single, married, widowed or divorced, with or without children and the ages and number of dependents they are responsible for. If they are divorced their life status also identifies whether or not they receive child support or if they have to pay child support.
Students travel through a series of booths where they meet Uncle Sam and must purchase life’s necessities before spending money on life’s luxuries including, travel, pets, snowmobiles, boats and 4-wheelers, while life’s necessities include housing, transportation, food, utilities, childcare and insurance.