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Family and Consumer Sciences

College of Education and Professional Studies

Poverty Simulation

The Department of Family and Consumer Sciences will be holding a Poverty Simulation Saturday, January 28th, 2017 in the SURC Ballroom. 

In 2015, the Poverty Simulation was a powerful event for students and community members. Read about this event in the article covered by The Observer (See p. 8).

To make the simulation a success we need 50-80 student participants and 20-30 volunteers from the community.

The Poverty Simulation will be held:
Saturday, January 28th from in the SURC Ballroom.
Community/Faculty/Staff should attend from 11:30 pm – 4:00 pm (and will start out in SURC 202 for lunch and an orientation).
Students should attend from 1:00 – 4:00 pm.

How the Simulation Works
Students are assigned the role of a low-income family for four 15-minute “weeks.” Other volunteers (community members, CWU faculty and staff) play the roles of community agencies and businesses. The task of each family is to provide food, shelter and other basic necessities during the simulation while interacting with various community resources.

Although it uses play money and fictional scenarios, a Poverty Simulation is a role-play – not a game. It is a powerful experience that takes only a few hours, but makes a lasting impact. It builds a greater awareness of the issues facing people in poverty, and helps build a foundation for change – personally, professionally and in our communities.

How Faculty/Staff/Community Members Can Get Involved
I’d like to invite you all to participate in the simulation by playing the roles of community agencies and businesses. It is important to have these roles occupied by individuals who can play them realistically in order to make simulation as effective as possible. This means your participation is crucial for making the simulation a success! Because I value your time and expertise, lunch will be provided for community volunteers and CWU faculty/staff as a small token of appreciation.  To sign up fill out the participation form. Please submit the form no later than January 23nd.

How Students Can Get Involved
Students are invited to play the roles of family members. There is also a debriefing period at the end to allow for students to reflect on their experiences. They need to sign up here by January 23nd, 2017.

Schedule of Events
11:30 Community/Faculty/Staff Volunteers Arrive
12:00 Lunch is served
12:30 Orientation for Volunteers, roles assigned
1:00 Student participants begin to arrive and are assigned to families
1:30 Simulation begins
2:45 Debriefing and discussion

For more information about what the Poverty Simulation will be like, view this video of a Poverty Simulation held in Michigan or contact Dr. Sarah Feeney.

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