The Real Game Series
The Play Real Game The Make It Real Game The Real Game The Be Real Game The Get Real Game Real Time Real Life
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When 12 year-old Mara Jones asked why she had to go to school since nothing she was learning seemed relevant to the 'real world', or to her dreams, her father not only paid attention, but also took action. He began creating The Real Game, the original program in the Real Game Series. Understanding middle school students, different learning styles and the need to connect education with the world of work, Bill Barry's creation was experiential and unique in the career development field.

Bill Barry & DaughterThe initial eight-hour version of The Real Game was piloted in St. John's, Newfoundland, in 1994. It sparked such interest that the program was presented later that year to career specialists at a Canada Career Information Partnership meeting. The career specialists were impressed. They agreed to help create an 18-hour version and to pilot it in schools in every province and territory.

Funding for development came from Human Resources Development Canada. The National Life/Work Center (NLWC) agreed to coordinate the project through an International Advisory Group. The NLWC invited the US National Occupational Information Coordinating Committee to become a partner, and NOICC brought schools in Vermont, North Dakota, and Arizona to the pilot.

Following the international pilot of The Real Game, educators and career specialists adamantly called for development of versions for both older and younger students, and for adults. The series of unique programs was developed under the guidance of an International Advisory Group of more than 50 respected career specialists assembled by NLWC and NOICC. In 2000, NOICC was disbanded and America's Career Resource Network (ACRN) was created in the Department of Education. Committed to fostering the Real Game Series in the United States, America's Career Resource Network Association (ACRN) entered into a five-year partnership with the NLWC, to continue the successful long-term partnership between the US, Canada and the Real Game Series. 12 years after the partnership began, CRN's in many states and territories continue to promote and support these programs that have such a positive impact on students and adults everywhere.

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