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Enhancing Self-Reflection through Simulation: A Tool for Students

PINEVILLE – Pineville Elementary School students had the opportunity to participate in life simulations on April 8, showcasing the profound impact of both positive and negative choices on one’s life.

In collaboration with the Economic Security Corporation of Southwest Area based in Joplin, students engaged in the “REALL simulation,” an immersive experience designed to illustrate the consequences of decisions.

Rachel Newkirk, the school counselor at Pineville Elementary, expressed gratitude for the support provided by the Economic Security Corporation. She mentioned the seamless coordination facilitated by the volunteers, enhancing the overall experience for the students.

The simulation involved students receiving envelopes containing profiles of simulated characters. These characters exemplified individuals who had made either detrimental or beneficial life choices.

Divided into two phases, the simulation first presented the “reactive” phase, where students encountered characters grappling with the aftermath of poor decisions. Subsequently, the “proactive” phase showcased the rewards of positive life choices.

One of the students, eighth-grader Johnny Garcia, shared his character’s challenges during the reactive phase, including issues like drug addiction, loss of license, and probation. Another student, seventh-grader Maddox Cartwright, portrayed a character facing unemployment and homelessness post-prison release.

Volunteers at designated tables represented various challenges resulting from unfavorable choices. Students navigated through scenarios such as visiting the “jail” table for probation-related issues or the “transportation” and “hunger” tables for essential resources.

The students received simulated weekly paychecks and had to manage their finances effectively. Missing appointments led to job loss and further complications for their characters.

Transitioning to the proactive phase, students assumed characters who had made positive life choices. Garcia’s new character illustrated success and stability, including educational achievements and future plans. Cartwright’s character reflected financial security, educational attainment, and a stable family life.

As students explored the benefits of virtuous decisions, they envisioned a future marked by success and fulfillment. Garcia aspires to pursue a career in real estate, while Cartwright aims to leverage his sports skills for educational opportunities.

Reflecting on the simulation, Garcia emphasized the importance of consistently making good decisions to shape a positive future.

In a poignant moment during the reactive phase, Cartwright realized the financial struggles his character would face, underscoring the repercussions of unfavorable choices.

The event concluded with Garcia, Cartwright, and counselor Rachel Newkirk posing for a photo, encapsulating the insightful and transformative experience of the REALL life simulation at Pineville Elementary School.