What do I need to know to conduct a Poverty Simulation?
Most of what you need to know about planning and conducting a simulation
is outlined here. Some of this information can help you decide if you
want to put on a simulation, and some of it will help you proceed with
planning once you’ve decided to go ahead. You will not receive the
actual Poverty Simulation kit until a week or so before your scheduled
- Your responsibilities
- The Poverty Simulation kit is loaned out from the state FL office
There is no charge. It’s recommended that you check availability
prior to planning a date for your event – the kit books well
- The kit is loaned only to UWEX staff, and Extension is considered
a sponsor or co-sponsor of a simulation.
- The UWEX staff person borrowing the kit is responsible for returning
the kit to the state Family Living office within one week of the
simulation. Restocking and reassembling the kit is a huge job –
you should make sure you have time set aside in the few days after
your simulation to do this before you decide to borrow the kit.
- There is, of course, an evaluation form enclosed in the kit for
the facilitator (you) and for each participant. We ask that you
use this evaluation at the end of your simulation and return completed
evaluations to the state office when you return the kit.
- Reserving the kit
- You can reserve the kit by contacting Kadi Row (email@example.com; (608)263-7321) at the state Family Living office.
- The simulation kit contains everything you need for your simulation,
including props, instructions, scripts and debriefing questions.
- You will receive kit approximately 1-2 weeks in advance of your
- You may request some of the introductory and planning materials
in advance if needed.
- There is no formal training needed for the Poverty Simulation.
We strongly recommend that you attend another simulation, and ideally
serve on another person’s planning committee, before attempting
to conduct a simulation on your own.
- The state Family Living office (firstname.lastname@example.org; (608)263-7321) can provide you with a schedule of upcoming simulations,
so you can find one to attend.
- Planning steps
- There is a guide with planning steps and timelines that may help
you with planning. You may request some of the introductory and
planning materials in advance by contacting the state Family Living
office, email@example.com; (608)263-7321.
- It is recommended that you work with a team or committee on the
event. You’ll need help running the simulation, the debriefing,
setting up the room, recruiting and training staffers, registration,
putting the kit back together after the event, etc.
- Here is a sample brochure for
promoting your event.
- Time needed
- The entire program (introduction, simulation itself, and debriefing)
takes approximately 2 ½ hours.
- The room set up can take up to 1 hour, depending on support you
- Training for “staffers” will take an additional hour,
at some point prior to the event.
- Space needed
- The simulation is conducted in a large room with the families
seated in groups in the center. Around the perimeter are tables
representing community resources and services for the families.
- This requires a large room, approximately 3,000 square feet
- There is a diagram available to
help you arrange tables and chairs
- For a full house of 75 participants and 15 staffers, you will
need approximately 140 chairs and 13 tables
- A microphone is very handy to have with a large group in a large
- The simulation is designed for 40 – 75 people
- You will need to know prior to the event almost exactly how many
people will attend. You will adjust the simulation accordingly.
- In addition to the 40-75 participants, you will need to recruit
an additional 15 staffers (not including yourself). These people
will staff the various resources stations around the room.
- Staffers need to be trained in advance. This takes approximately
45 minutes. Training materials are provided in the kit.
- Who should be recruited as staffers? Ideally, staffers are individuals
who have experience living in poverty themselves, or individuals
who have previously attended a simulation. A great addition is to
recruit a staffer that is fluent in a language other than English.
Have that person play the grocer role and instruct them to speak
no English during the simulation.
- At the end of the simulation, you will conduct a debriefing where
participants can discuss and share their experiences
- This is a crucial part of the experience and you will find that
participants are eager to have this discussion
- Complete instructions for the debriefing and questions for participants
For more information