Educating Teens on Voting and Their Finances
The Public Policy Center, which publishes nonpartisan fact sheets on every statewide Arkansas ballot issue, has joined forces with Dr. Laura Hendrix in Family and Consumer Sciences to offer an updated "Get Real – Here’s the Deal" station on voting.
"Get Real – Here’s the Deal" is a hands-on simulation Hendrix developed several years ago to give kids an experience in financial decision-making. Youth are encouraged to make wise financial lifestyle choices similar to what adults face each month.
"Citizen in Action" is the program’s 13th station. Participants draw a card to experience how they are affected by voting (or not voting). The scenarios include sales and property tax votes that add something to their community but cost them something in the process. Teens then write the cost or reward in their "check books."
This may be the first time some participants realize voters have a say in setting local taxes that apply to vehicles, phone bills and fast food purchases. The idea is to leave them with an understanding of how they have a role in shaping their community at age 18.
Teens across Arkansas experience "Get Real - Here's the Deal" during special events at school. Extension's county agents provide financial literacy education in many schools and use this "grab and go" program to highlight the financial choices that await many students after graduation.
For more information about the Citizen in Action station, contact Kristin Higgins at firstname.lastname@example.org.