Did you know that a high school dropout will earn $1 million less than a college graduate over his or her lifetime, and $200,000 less than a high school graduate, according to the U.S. Census?
OACAC serves people from all walks of life, and we wanted to help our teenage community avoid the need for our assistance in the future. That’s why we developed the REALL project! Kids need to get real about their future and the expectations of life.
REALL is for grades 7th through 12th. It’s an active, hands-on experience that challenges teens to think critically about their lives through simulation of a reactive life and a proactive life.
Learn more about the Reality Enrichment And Life Lessons project, including how you can bring it to your school or group, how to volunteer, or how to purchase a REALL kit.
Participants must simulate the life of someone who has made negative decisions, such as legal trouble or inadequate education.
They may face a number of difficulties:
Participants then simulate the life of someone who has made positive decisions, such as avoidance of legal issues and pursuit of higher education.
They may experience many benefits:
When finished simulating the two lives, students gather into small groups to reflect on the experience.
Young participants are expected to pull from their REALL experiences to make proactive choices, so they may know self-sufficiency in adulthood.
The 2009 OACAC Community Needs Assessment showed that poverty can be addressed by providing youth with a number of resources:
And what are the results?
Beginning as a copyrighted project of OACAC, the REALL Simulation has now been adopted across Missouri and throughout the United States.
It provides an innovative method for teaching life lessons to young people and it benefits participating students.
Since the launch of REALL Simulation programs at the beginning of the 2010-2011 school year, Missouri’s graduation rate has improved from 81% to an all-time high of 87.3%
At OACAC, we believe that REALL, along with the dedication of educators across Missouri, has played a small role in this big success.
"After one of the simulations, one of my students said, "I was planning on dropping out next week when I turn 16, but this made me realize that I don't want to live like that."
"The underlying theme of choosing to be proactive rather than reactive is of paramount importance to the high school students"
"It also offered another avenue for those living in situations of extreme poverty to see a way out through education and gainful employment."
"They [teens] learned the hard paths of not attending college, losing their job, losing their home, and in some cases, losing their family."
"Students experience a trial run at life without suffering the consequences that real life delivers."
"Even reluctant students seem personally affected by consequences their assigned personas suffer because of poor choices."
"This is a great activity to help them [teens] realize what life can be like if they do not take charge of their living, working, and family situations."
"The program also allows our students to solve problems using critical thinking skills and communication skills that we want them to acquire."
"I would like to see this hands-on learning experience become a regular part of the school curriculum."
"The best thing about the REALL simulation is that students enjoy attending and participating as well as learn powerful lessons that impact long-term planning for their lives."
Are you interested in making a difference? Do you enjoy interacting with people? If so, OACAC has a volunteer opportunity for you!
The REALL simulation is designed to work in the many environments where teen populations gather together for hours of building, growing, and learning.
OACAC offers training opportunities for organizations who would like to add the REALL simulation to their selection of programs.
Contact our REALL Project Coordinators today to start the conversation! Reach us at [email protected] or (417) 873-3370.