Hanson School District

South Dakota designates the week of April 3rd to April 8th as SD Week of Work. In order to incorporate this week into Hanson School, Mrs. Kelli Endorf holds different activities each year for the students to participate in. Through her FACS classes, Mrs. Endorf provides students with learning opportunities to explore different careers, prepare for real world life experiences, and plan for their future.

This year for SD Week of Work, Mrs. Endorf and Ms. Yolanda Price put together an activity based on The Game of Life. On Wednesday, April 5th, sophomore and junior students took part of the afternoon to participate in their own game of life. Mrs. Endorf brought in various companies and representatives from the surrounding areas to inform and help the students at each station along their way of life.

At the first stop, students had to choose a career and draw a salary card. At this station, Jill Pulkrabek from the South Dakota Department of Labor informed students about the Department of Labor and what she does before assisting students with selecting their own careers.

Next, the students moved on to Brady Mudder from the Hall Book & Tax. Here, Brady introduced them to taxes, payroll deductions, benefits, retirement, and savings. Students then calculated their net monthly pay to add to their check register. The next stop was to buy a house with Colleen Hunt from Mitchell Realty.

Moving forward in the game of life, students had to buy a car. Jesse Elward from Iverson Chrysler provided students with options of cars and other knowledge related to purchasing a car. After buying a car, students explored getting a loan and learning about credit with Corey Marek from Great Plains Commerce Bank.

Up next, students interacted with Cole Wenande from Wenande Insurance where he informed them on factors that influence insurance cost and students purchased insurance for their house and car. Following insurance, students looked into the various utilities. At this station, students received their electric, water, sewer, garbage, phone, cable, and internet bills. Tara Miller from Central Electric, Jessi Bahmuller from the City of Alexandria, and Kendra Mudder from Triotel Communications assisted the students with their utility options and bills.

After that, students met with Mrs. Endorf for life’s amenities. At this stop, students determined how much they would spend on food, appearance, cell phone, and entertainment. Mrs. Endorf was present at this station to guide the students.

Finally, students were greeted by Ms. Price, Hanson’s School Counselor, at the last station. This stop highlighted all the unpredictable events that come with life. Whether positive or negative, students drew an “Oh No!” or an “Oh Yeah!” situation for a chance to win or lose money from unexpected events.

At this point, participants completed their journey of life and reflected on the balance in their check register. This Game of Life exposed students to various careers and businesses while giving them a glimpse on money management. Overall, the event was a fun, meaningful learning experience for students.

Colleen Hunt from Mitchell Realty commented on the experience, “This was a wonderful education program. The students were attentive and very respectful.”

"This experience really shows how aware you need to be with choosing what to spend money on,” stated Hanson junior, Reese Marek.

Mrs. Endorf expressed her thoughts on the event, “This was a neat experience for the students. I feel it really made them think about life and all the decisions and expenses associated with it. I am very grateful for all the individuals and businesses that helped make this event possible and such a success.”