WVSU to Raise Awareness of Poverty through Simulation Highlighting Issues Faced by Struggling Families

Contact: Kimberly Osborne
(304) 766-3363

Oct. 23, 2013
WVSU to Raise Awareness of Poverty through Simulation Highlighting Issues Faced by Struggling Families

INSTITUTE, W.Va.In an effort to raise awareness of  how rising poverty rates are affecting many people across the state, West Virginia State University (WVSU) will host a Simulation of Poverty program Saturday, Oct. 26, in the Wilson University Union from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

This free program is designed to increase poverty awareness and address possible solutions to the daily problems faced by people trying to survive financially.

Participants in the simulation experience “one month” of poverty compressed into a real-time simulation.  Participants role-play the lives of low-income families.  Family scenarios are given out to groups of participants who must decide how to seek services and support, obtain financial assistance and determine how to spend what little money the family has in order to survive. Some are Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) recipients, some are disabled, and some are senior citizens on Social Security.  The participants have the stressful tasks of providing the basic necessities and shelter on a limited budget during the course of four 15-minute “weeks.”  They will interact with human services agencies, grocers, bill collectors, job interviews, police officers and others throughout the exercise.
“The simulation is designed to raise awareness of the issues of people living in poverty and most importantly, it moves participants to action to make a difference.  Although play money is used, it is not a game.  It is a simulation that enables participants to look at poverty from a variety of angles and then to recognize and discuss the potential for change within their local communities,” said Barbara Cary, director of TRIO programs at WVSU.
The simulation will be followed by a debriefing where participants can share insights into the world of those affected by poverty.
The Simulation of Poverty program has been made available by W.Va. Pride Community Services of Logan County. In addition, Cold Hands Warm Hearts, a community organization, will be collecting clothing donations of gloves, hats and scarves to help the children of Logan County. Donations are being accepted at the Office of Student Activities in the University Union or in Room 219 of Sullivan Hall East. 
Participation in the Simulation of Poverty program is open to the public, but registration is required.  The simulation is sponsored by WVSU Office of Student Activities, the WVSU Student Activities Council, TRIO programs and the state chapters of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc.

For more information, or to register, contact Barbara Cary at (304) 766-3088.
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West Virginia State University is a public, land grant, historically black university, which has evolved into a fully accessible, racially integrated, and multi-generational institution, located in Institute, W.Va. As a “living laboratory of human relations,” the university is a community of students, staff, and faculty committed to academic growth, service, and preservation of the racial and cultural diversity of the institution. Its mission is to meet the higher education and economic development needs of the state and region through innovative teaching and applied research.
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