'Reality Store' held at Kemper County High School Thursday

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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - The sixth year of the Reality Store was held at Kemper County High School Thursday morning. The event is put on by the Parents and Community Equals Educational Success, or PACES, project.

“We’ve found that sometimes students don’t have an appreciation for what it really costs to set up household, says Bernard Joe Hulin, the project coordinator for PACES. “They get to jump into the future and jump into the careers and see what’s it’s like to set up a household today.”

Ninth grade students learned all about what adult life is like from many different local businesses and organizations, including the cost of electricity, child care, groceries, and more.

“The most important thing here is for them to think about what is it that they want to do in the future and more so than that, they need to think about what actions do they need to take in order to accomplish that goal,” Hulin explains. “And what we stress over and over again: always have a plan B, because something can go awry.”

Students we spoke to say that they were enjoying the ‘Reality Store.’

“I think the reality fair is going good, it helps us maintain and learn what we’ve got to do as we get older,” says Nicvontae Smith.
“It helps us learn about how to better manage our money in the future and have a successful life,” says Alfred Love.
The students were also surprised how expensive things are.

“Basically money, how to manage your money,” Love says. “It’s very, very tough on what you should and should not spend your money on.”

“I learned that we spend a lot of money as we get older, and it gets harder for us and tough,” Smith says.

About 15 businesses and organizations were at the event. The PACES project is associated with the Kemper County Development Association.