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HVA plays the game of LIFE

In its second year, Hardin Valley Academy’s life-size game of LIFE taught students how to budget in the real world.

In Hasbro’s board game, “The Game of Life,” players can choose a career, marry, have children, buy a house, undergo plastic surgery and buy a car among other real life decisions.

HVS’s entire junior class played in rotations throughout the day, Friday, Feb. 28, at HVA.

PTSA committee chair for My Amazing Life, Cindy Keller, organized the event both years.

With a high school student of her own, Keller understands where students are coming from and where they need to go.

As students hit each financial decision booth, many were surprised at the cost of cell phone, car insurance, car payment, food and entertainment bills.

In most booths, students were able to choose which plan best suited them and their budget. For example, students chose what type of car to buy, directly affecting their monthly budget.

Near the end of the game, after students balanced their budgets, vacations, pets and entertainment costs came into play.

Some students were “in the red.” Those students then had to choose a second job to cover the deficit.

Keller takes this game seriously.

“Dave Ramsey has said financial problems are the number one reason for divorce,” Keller said in reference to the nationally syndicated talk show host.

In the HVA game, as in the actual LIFE game, players choose to attend college or head straight into their career.

Laurie Salmons, PTSA volunteer coordinator, said, “I think it’s amazing many students learn to cut grocery and entertainment bills.”

As HVA junior Brianna Goodlin passed through the HVA game of LIFE she learned to manage her finances.

In the game, she married a “burger flipper” who grossed $26,000 a year. Brianna was the bread winner as a biomedical engineer.

Near the end of the game, students chose a card that created a road block. Some were big, some small.

Hearing a fellow student complain of their roadblock, Brianna said, “You’re lucky. I ran over an alligator.”

Brianna had funds left over at the end of the game.

“I’m a perfectionist and an overachiever,” she said. “Parent volunteers who are business owners have said they want to be involved next year,” Keller said.

Keller said HVA’s game this year involved 65-to-70 volunteers.

Students left with T-shirts, toothbrushes and other goodies.

New sponsors this year were P.C. Accountants and Business Advisors, Y-12 Federal Credit Union, YMCA, Dr. John Diddle, Parkwest Medical Center, About Signs and Tennessee State Bank.

Returning sponsors were Bible Harris Smith, Pellissippi State Community College, Pepsi, Snappy Tomato Pizza, Dr. Christopher O’Rourke, Cokesbury United Methodist Church and Great West Casuality Trucking Insurance.


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