Life Simulation Sheds Light on Issue of Poverty
Tuesday, January 28, 2014 8:00 AM

Tuesday, Jan. 28, 2014 (FARMERS BRANCH, Texas) – Simulations are a valuable teaching tool that can provide an opportunity for participants to gain valuable experience and insights, as well as appreciate the tough choices that sometimes have to be made. At the Cornerstone Credit Union Foundation’s FOCUS Summit Feb. 6-7, 2014, credit union professionals, educators, and community leaders will have an opportunity to experience in a simulated environment what it’s like to live in a typical low-income family, trying to survive from month to month.

Lois Kitsch, REAL Solutions national program manager for the National Credit Union Foundation, will present the Life Simulation, in which the participants will assume the role of a family living in poverty. Some families are newly unemployed, some are homeless, and others are senior citizens living on disability payments or raising grandchildren. The “families” will struggle to make ends meet during the simulated month.

At the conclusion of the simulation (this is not a game), participants will be more aware to the daily realities of many American families. According to Kitsch, walking in another’s shoes is a far more effective way to sensitize others to the needs of immigrants and other low-wage working families than from traditional diversity or classroom learning.

Poverty is a serious problem in this country. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 18.4 percent of Arkansas’ population lives below the poverty line. In Texas, 17 percent of the population lives in poverty. For a family of three, that’s less than $18,500 of income a year. In Oklahoma, 16.3 percent of families live in poverty.

In addition to the Life Simulation, the Feb. 6-7 FOCUS Summit features:

  • A Keynote address from Jean Chatzky, an acclaimed author and financial editor for NBC’s “Today” show. Chatzky will offer a frank discussion about money, including how to get it, how to keep it, how to invest it, and how to make peace with it.
  • Best practice panel discussion with a local superintendent, principals, and teachers that will focus on how credit unions can enter schools, sustain the relationship, and remain relevant.
  • An overview of financial education tools available to credit unions and educators, including the National Endowment for Financial Education High School Financial Planning Program, BizKid$, FamilyMint, Sammy the Savings Rabbit, Money Mammals, and more.

The Feb. 6-7 FOCUS Summit is being held at the Doubletree Galleria Hotel in Dallas.

PDF Life Simulation Sheds Light on Issue of Poverty -- Credit union professionals, educators, and community leaders to experience what it's like to be poor at upcoming FOCUS Summit in Dallas