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Students Visit 'Reality Town' for Life Lessons

High school freshmen in Lincoln County, Miss., are taking a break from their regularly scheduled curriculum this week, as they began a three-day life-skills workshop on Jan. 20 designed to demonstrate the correlation between grades and their future earnings, according to The Daily Leader.

The trip to "Reality Town," sponsored by the Junior Auxiliary and Mississippi Scholars, will give the district's 500 freshmen a crash course in real-life decision-making.

Each student was given virtual money based on his or her first semester GPA; the students will visit eight local vendors to "buy" anything from cars to insurance. The program also anticipates unforeseen emergencies, such as medical bills or vehicle repair.

"The more we can do to give kids real life skills, the better we can be," said Brookhaven School District Superintendent Lea Barrett. "We want our kids to graduate as informed consumers and informed citizens. The state of the economy has pointed out that most Americans need a little lesson in economics, so this is a good way to start."

The Junior Auxiliary projects an average 25-year-old single adult in Mississippi to earn $25,000 annually if he or she earned As and Bs in school, $17,000 annually for a C average, and a mere $12,000 annually for high school dropouts.

"It gives them that aspect of having a little money in their pocket and then the reality of trying to pay bills and see what they have left over at the end of the month. Most of them have never had that experience," said Brookhaven High School Principal Dr. Jay Smith.

The Junior Auxiliary hopes this will become an annual event.

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