While many Vandalia area residents may not understand the situations and fears that families living in poverty experience every day, an April 10 activity at Van-Far High School will give them a chance to gain a better appreciation of the challenges facing 32.9 million Americans.
The Community Action Poverty Simulation is available from 6-9 p.m. in the school’s gymnasium. It provides an opportunity for members of the community to “walk a mile in the shoes of families in poverty.”
It provides participants with the opportunity to assume the role of a family member living on a low-income budget. The experience is then divided into four 15-minute weeks in which participants much provide for their family while maintaining their home.
“In respect to the Poverty Simulation, I am hopeful that those who attend and participate will leave with a better understanding of poverty and the extremes people face when trying to improve themselves and their family,” said Van-Far Superintendent Chris Felmlee. “Many criticize that all one has to do is just get a job and then you are no longer living in poverty. Life is rarely this simple. Even more people believe that a family can thrive with a minimum wage job or jobs if both parents work. This too is a fallacy; especially if the parents do not have a support system in place to help with children. It is always easy to criticize but another to understand and positively affect situations. My hope with the Poverty Simulation is that people leave with a better understanding of the difficulties of living in poverty and the struggle to get out of poverty.”
Those planning to attend are encouraged to RSVP Thomas A. Dobyns II at 573-253-4810, 573-582-7864, or 573-642-3316.
A follow-up meeting is being offered by the Van-Far R-I School District on April 17 in conjunction with the United Credit Union. That meeting will have three presentation dealing with budgeting, identity theft, and understanding credit score.
Superintendent Felmlee said participants will be able to receive their credit score and individual counseling.
“I am hopeful participants will leave the meeting with a better understanding of their credit, what they can do immediately to better their credit score, and protect their credit rating,” Felmlee said.