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Bite of Reality

Bite of Reality Financial Fair

Imagine you have two kids and are saving for a new home. You and your spouse are debating if you should send your kids to daycare or grandma’s while at work. Everyone needs new shoes, and you were really hoping to join a gym in 2024. Can you afford all of this? For most adults, budgeting and managing money are everyday tasks. But wouldn't it be great if we could teach these skills to kids so they're all set to deal with these problems when they grow up? That’s the goal of a new program launching at O Bee, the Bite of Reality Financial Fair.
 
Bite of Reality is a practical 'Real World Simulation' designed to assist students in navigating the financial decisions they will face as adults. Each participant assumes a "real world" persona for the day, such as a carpenter earning $47,000 with two kids and $8,000 in student debt.

As they go through different stations, students face challenges such as a persistent car salesperson, a real estate agent working on commission, or tempting offers for luxury items like boats. Along the way, they tackle questions like, "Can I afford name-brand clothes, or should I opt for hand-me-downs?" and "Is a haircut every three weeks a necessity, or could I stretch it to every couple of months?" They have to weigh their wants versus needs.

Through this hands-on experience, participants develop practical money management and budgeting skills and gain insights into real-world decision-making complexities.
Tenino Branch Manager Min Kaye leads the Bite of Reality fairs for O Bee. “We find that often teens come out of school with very little financial education,” she says. “Dealing with money is a crucial life skill that is a part of everyone’s lives.”

Min and a team of O Bee volunteers recently partnered with Gravity Learning Center to present the Bite of Reality Fair. Gravity is a re-engagement program for youth who have left school before graduation. They provide education, training, and job opportunities for students aged 16-21. Many Gravity students are already working and supporting themselves. Financial literacy is a critical skill to help them make better money management decisions.

Expanding upon the success of the Berenstain Bears Financial Literacy program, Bite of Reality allows O Bee to provide financial education to an even broader audience of young people. The goal is to equip youth with the knowledge to strengthen their communities as adults. “I believe when you help the community, you don’t impact just that individual, you are helping to create a better place to live for all of us,” says Min.

O Bee offers Bite of Reality for FREE to schools and youth organizations in Thurston and Pierce counties. If you want to bring Bite of Reality to your school, email the Marketing team at marketing@obee.com
 


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