Area students participate in Reality Check in Tolna


February 21, 2022

Lisa Haines

Midkota juniors and seniors were among Dakota Prairie and Lakota juniors and seniors to take in the Reality Check event in Tolna. Back row (l to r): Logan Topp, Kaleb Short, Trent Ekren, Levi Hoyt, James Vollmer; front row: Emma Kollman, Kelby Gjovik, Shayla Rickford, Daveigh Sailor, Josie Johnson.

High School students recently attended the first ever Reality Check for this area. This event gave the juniors and seniors at Dakota Prairie, Lakota, and Midkota the opportunity to see what life (financially) may be like as an adult in a reality-based event.

This event, sponsored by Farmers & Merchants Bank of N.D., State Bank of Lakota, and the Nelson County Job Development Authority was held at the Tolna Business and Events Center on Feb. 9, 2022.

Reality Check is an interactive financial decision-making event that illustrates basic personal financial management skills. During this valuable learning event, the students were given the opportunity to simulate the types of financial decisions they will be making as adults, but without the risk of facing real financial repercussions.

When asked "What is the best information about managing money that you learned today?" one student's reply was "Everything adds up, should try to put a good amount in my saving's account." Another student added that they "enjoyed learning about money and how it was connected to my job." And, when asked "How has this event changed the way you will save or spend money in the future," the reply from several students was "yes, it taught me I don't need the newest or most expensive things."

When asked what they enjoyed most about the event, some of the responses from the volunteers were:

• "Hearing the kids talk though their decisions & what they thought was their best options."

• "I enjoyed interacting with the students. It was fun to see the 'light bulb' go off!"

• "Seeing students seamlessly interacting with a variety of adults."

Said Clay Johnson, Principal at Dakota Prairie, "I've often said that education comes in many forms. This is another example of students learning a real life skill. The best part of the education for kids is seeing the community come together and volunteer their time. It was a great experience and I hope to do it again."

Organizers intend Reality Check to be an annual event for local schools, helping students make good decisions while they are attending high school, college, and beyond.

If your school is interested in participating in Reality Check during the 2022-2023 school year, please contact Lisa Haines at 701-262-4211.


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