The Reality Store is a fun simulation that helps 7th and 8th graders connect academic achievement with the kind of lifestyle they envision for themselves after graduation. Students are assigned salaries based on their actual GPA. Then, they proceed from table to table (staffed by our volunteers) to buy housing, transportation, groceries, insurance, furniture, clothing, electronics, vacations, utilizes, child care, pets, electronics, and other real life elements.
Each school year there is a Reality Store at Batchelor, Edgewood, Jackson Creek, and Tri-North middle schools, reaching more than 1,000 students. In follow-up surveys, students consistently report having a greater appreciation of the importance of grades and education, as well as of the many challenges, complexities, and opportunities they will face as adults.
Pre and Post survey results show the impact of the Reality Store on students' perceptions regarding the relationship between school, career, and life after graduation:
Click here to download the full Reality Store impact report
- 88% of students reported that they enjoyed participating in the Reality Store.
- The number of students who plan to pursue postsecondary education increased from 87% to 92%.
- The number of students who plan to complete at least a four year college degree increased from 76% to 82%, and the number of students who plan to complete a graduate degree increased from 41% to 54%
- The number of students who say they "have no idea" what level of education they will achieve decreased from 9% to 5%.
Volunteering for a Reality Store is a fun way to interact with students and teach them important lessons. Typically, there are 2 or 3 shifts available at each event, and you may sign up for as many shifts as you like. Let us know if there is a particular table you desire, such as Housing or Pets.
To become a Reality Store volunteer, or to find out more information, please email Volunteer Coordinator Carol Kelly at ckelly@ChamberBloomington.org