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Students Receive Real World Training

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For many people, financial literacy is a learn as you go process. But ND Jump$tart Coalition is starting early, teaching students who can't even have a credit card yet. Sixth-and-seventh-graders from Bismarck Public Schools and surrounding school districts took part in financial literacy day.

They took classes on money management, how to get a job, and understanding wants versus needs.

Welcome to Real World City. More than 100 students were given lives with spouses, children, jobs and income and told to make that work financially.

Ashley Scherbenske is an accountant and mother of two. Her husband makes less than her, but says her family is doing ok.

Ashley says she likes the camp.

"Because, like, everybody is in this world is gonna have to grow up eventually. So, I just figured, you know, might a well get a head start," says Ashley.

Father, husband, and principal Rayman Zimmerman just bought a car for the family. He says the camp has been an eye opener.

"I understand more on how it's difficult to pay, even for just three people living in a house. It's a lot more confusing than I thought it was going to be," says Rayman.

"The kids are just like, Oh my gosh! This is exciting. What's kind of nice for them, they were all excited, they got this great income, and then their spouse lost their job. And they were like, what do I do?" says teacher Judy Deutch.

Teachers and camp exhibitors say the kids are learning a lot.

"I'm gonna scratch my childcare. And so having to explain to her that, no, you need childcare, you need to work. Then she's like, well I'll take my child to work. No, you can't take your child to work. Then they're understanding, Wow!" says chairwoman for the Real World Amy Jo Johnson.

Students say they understand what their parents have to go through.

"I probably will not ask for money as much. I understand now money doesn't grow on trees, you have to work for it," says student Ashley.

And even have some insight to life.

"Spend as little money as possible," says Rayman.

If only it were that simple.

Many teachers say this was a worthwhile field trip and their students agree. 

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