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Reality Store Sells Look at Life

Date: May 12, 2008RealityStoreSells


Veda McMullen, James City County Parks & Recreation, Communications Coordinator
Phone: (757) 259-5415
Fax: (757) 259-5420


Jeremy Johnson, Virginia Cooperative Extension/James City County Office
Phone: (757) 564-2170



More than 200 local youth have checked into the Reality Store – a program for students in grades 6-12 that teaches responsibility and planning for the future. During the Store held in January, youth participants had the opportunity to spend the day as an adult - making important decisions such as finding a job, buying a home, raising a family and creating a budget. Eighteen local agencies and businesses such as Nationwide Insurance, Williamsburg Dodge, Langley Federal Credit Union and Norge Dental Center took part in the day – serving as real life service and industry examples.

After a day in the Reality Store simulation, youth noted important lessons learned. Most participants said “financial planning and creating an annual budget as the most important tools” for success. To have money, participants noted you needed a good education, a great-paying job, a budget and to be aware of the real cost of services and the impact of having children.

The Reality Store is a collaboration between James City County Parks and Recreation and Virginia Cooperative Extension. The program has been offered since 2004. For more information about the Reality Store or youth financial planning

programs, contact the Virginia Cooperative Extension James City County Office at 564-

2170 or


Carla Meador, James City County Parks and Recreation Prevention Counselor, helps a participant make food-buying decisions.



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