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Rockland High School Students Attend ‘Credit for Life’ Fair

ROCKLAND — Principal John Harrison is pleased to announce that Rockland High School’s sophomore Class of 2022 attended a Credit For Life Fair on Tuesday, Nov. 5 in the high school gymnasium. 

This is the third year that Rockland High School’s guidance department has organized the fair, with the help of people from various businesses, banks and organizations who volunteered their time. This year there were 30 volunteers in all.

Credit For Life is designed to teach students about finances and important skills regarding money management that they can use when they are adults. 

Before the fair began, students were given a salary, a budget and a clipboard to keep track of their spending plans. Then students walked around the gym to different tables where they kept track of their money, and made financial decisions.

Working within a budget based on their mock monthly income, students visited tables based on different topics including, insurance, transportation, savings and retirement, career counseling, luxuries, cell phone plans and education.

The students went through real life expenses such as renting an apartment or buying a house, buying their first car, buying furniture and clothing and paying insurance and monthly food bills. They also had to deal with unexpected expenses such as car repairs.

Sophomore Maddie Murphy said that one thing she learned is that she needs “to start saving now.”  She said that it was eye-opening to see how much a monthly food bill is and how much something like insurance costs.

Sheila Farragher from Harbor One Bank helped out at a table called “That’s Life” where students had to spin a wheel to see if they have an unexpected expense or a welcome financial gift like winning money on a scratch ticket. Farragher said that students she talked to were learning just how much it costs to maintain a certain lifestyle.  

Tiance Tillman from the Bank of Canton spoke to students about cell phone plans. He said that he had a little bit of experience from his days selling cell phone plans at Best Buy. What he told students is they have to make wise decisions about whether they want “a good phone or a good plan with enough data.” He said, “I’ve seen people get stuck in plans for two years that turned out to be very expensive and not what they wanted.”

During and at the conclusion of the fair, students also were required to visit the “Reality Check” table where they found out whether or not they were living within their budget.

RHS guidance counselor Jill Delaney said the best thing about the fair is that students “get a taste of what real life is like.”

She said, “It’s a good age (grade 10) for them to be given the opportunity to set up a budget and make decisions based on a certain occupation and the salary that goes with it.” It’s also designed, she said, to be a form of career counseling for students.

By the end of the Credit For Life event, students said they knew a lot more about money than they previously did. They also understood what kind of salary and job they would need, and some of the decisions that they would have to make to in order to stay on a budget.



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