Thursday, October 12, 2000

Children learning about work early


Career training in grade schools

By Jennifer Mrozowski
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        MAINEVILLE — Doctors at age seven? Not quite, but Maineville Elementary students are getting career training early, and the school has won a statewide award for the its career development team.

        Last year, the school initiated an aggressive career plan in all of its classrooms. As early as kindergarten, Maineville students are learning about careers through occupational awareness lessons, life skills training, and other programs. They can even take a career home in a backpack filled with doctor's kits, plumber's puzzles or career-related books.

        Children in higher grades have the opportunity to interview each other and work in the school store to practice customer service and learn about marketing, promotion, management, accounting and inventory

        “One of the main reasons is that we were finding youngsters really don't have a sense when they get out of high school of where they want to go,” said Maineville Principal Melody Goodwin. “We feel it's really important to start the children young in exploring the world of work.”

        In November, the school will receive an award from Ohio's Career Education As sociation for having an outstanding career building planning team for an elementary school, said Yvonne Kaszubowski, Warren County Career Development Coordinator.

        “It's an awesome plan,” Ms. Kaszubowski said. “It's excellent because it includes all teachers.”

        But the training isn't just grade-specific.

        The Art and Career Club went on career exploration field trips, invited guest speakers to talk about their careers and acted as art museum docents for the school's annual spring Art Show.

        One class even made a science-based music video on bugs to show the children media careers opportunities.

        This year will be more of the same, said career development representative and fourth grade teacher Amy White. However, her students will likely make a social studies/art music video, she said.

        Career training will reach the staff, too, through job shadowing experiences and speakers who will talk about changing workforce trends.

        "(Career development) is hugely necessary at an elementary level,” said art teacher Lynn Hastings, who last year was the building's career development representative. "It's crucial for them to explore all the different career options. Depending on the area they grew up in or their family, some students don't know of all the options out there.”

       



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