Future teachers participate in poverty simulation
Playing the role of a 43-year-old father of two or a 1-year-old girl, future teachers at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point learn firsthand about the effects of poverty on families and children on February 15. A total of 102 students, faculty and staff participated in a two-hour hands-on simulation designed to help them better understand what it’s like to live in poverty as part of the annual School of Education Okray Colloquium.
Trina Fuehrer, who was assigned the role of a 19-year-old unemployed teen with a son, found the experience valuable. “My favorite part was the overall stress level that occurred over the course of the ‘month’ and the lesson learned of this was reality for some.”
Other students acted as businesses owners in the town of “Realville” and experienced a different side of the situation. “It was an eye-opening experience,” said Christine Malkiewicz who worked at Big Dave’s Pawn Shop. “My ‘co-worker’ and I wanted to be a helpful, yet thriving, business in the community of Realville; however, the families were in so much need that we ended up bankrupt!”
CAP Services facilitated a poverty simulation for students in UWSP’s School of Education. The discussion that followed included some strategies the soon-to-be teachers can use to better understand, serve and engage students and parents who are struggling financially.
The event was sponsored by the UWSP School of Education, Association for the Education of Young Children, Kappa Delta Pi, Student Council For Exceptional Children, Student Council for the Social Studies, Student Wisconsin Education Association and CAP Services.