Wednesday, July 03, 2013

REALL Project Teaches Youth Life Lessons July 18 in Springfield

Contact: David Burton, civic communication specialist
Tel: (417) 881-8909

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- The Reality Enrichment and Life Lessons (REALL) project is a simulation designed to challenge youth to think critically about how choices and decisions made in adolescence may have consequences in adulthood.

Participating youth are given the life of someone who has made reactive or negative choices (all have dropped out of high school, some have past legal histories, some have low paying jobs, etc).

Following this, they are given the life of someone who has made proactive or positive choices (all have graduated from high school and obtained some type of higher education, all are employed at a living wage, all have affordable child care, etc.).

Youth are challenged to live those two lives and compare and contrast the experiences to draw conclusions in their own lives. It is the expectation that youth will draw on their experiences at the Reality Enrichment and Life Lessons simulation to make proactive choices in their own lives, so they may know self-sufficiency in adulthood.

The Reality Enrichment and Life Lessons project was identified as a potential agency strategy following focus groups and agency surveys. The resulting document, the 2009 Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation Needs Assessment, showed issues of poverty may be addressed in the youth population by providing youth with development of life management skills, programs for self-improvement, and increased services for youth to prepare them for life after school.

By reviewing various research outlets, it was determined youth would benefit from a project that would challenge their thoughts about decision making. Through Network collaboration, the Reality Enrichment and Life Lessons project was designed to help meet these goals.

Staff in Dade, Christian, Greene, Polk and Webster counties developed a Network that helped guide this project. Local partners include Springfield Public Schools, Greenfield Public Schools, Lockwood Public Schools, Southwest Center for Independent Living, University of Missouri Extension, Nixa Public Schools, Least of These Food Pantry, Ozarks Area Community Action Corporation Head Start, Springfield Regional Center, Webster County Health Unit, Jordan Valley Health Center, and 4-H.

Through a series of meetings and work days throughout the project year, materials were created detailing 60 participant scenarios or “lives” for both the reactive and proactive sessions of the simulation. In addition, booths were designed so youth participants could visit the booths during the simulation and simulate real-life adult level responsibilities. The Springfield Public Schools facility, Bailey Alternative High School, served as the mock simulation site to test the materials.

After participating in a REALL simulation, participants are more likely to say they were going to college or another type of training after high school and more likely to say they have to finish school to be successful. They are less likely to say they know how to make adult decisions.

For more information on how to host a REALL Simulation or how to become a volunteer at a REALL Simulation, please contact your local OACAC Neighborhood Center office.

Greene County Center: 417-447-0554. The REALL Simulation in Springfield will be held from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Missouri Career Center.

Labels: , ,


Post a Comment

Let us know how you have been helped by this article or what you have learned from this story.

<< Home