Being told to “Get a life” isn’t always one of the most appealing moments you could encounter.

But Independence Middle School seventh-graders took the advice to heart Thursday as West Virginia Treasurer John Perdue paid a visit to the school to introduce his educational program, including the “Get a Life” game, as a way to get the children to focus on financial responsibility.

The game is the newest component of Perdue’s comprehensive financial education initiative, NetWorth.

It offers a hands-on approach to financial education by allowing students to earn a salary, budget their monthly bills and shop for essentials.

“With programs like NetWorth and the Get a Life game, I believe students in West Virginia will be better prepared to live and succeed in the real world,” Perdue said. “As the state treasurer of West Virginia, I believe it is my financial duty to step up to the plate and make a difference in the future of financial education.”

The response from the Independence students and teachers was encouraging to the treasurer.

“It was a great day,” Perdue said. “Both the students and teachers were excited. Toward the end of the game, they were really watching their money. It was an eye-opening experience for them.

“We hope to continue to spread the program throughout the state.”

Local business professionals and members of the Beckley-Raliegh County Chamber of Commerce participated in the event.

“We see the value from the retail industry of teaching these students the importance of choosing the right career, something they enjoy, but also something that can provide a good living to their family,” said Bridget Lambert, president of the West Virginia Retailers Association.

NetWorth is a program developed by the treasurer in partnership with the state Department of Education to achieve financial literacy education in every grade level, at every school in the state.

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