Wilson Elementary School students explored the “World of Work” Jan. 25 during the school’s annual WOW Day. The program featured several presenters and the opportunity for students to interact with and ask questions of today’s career men and women.
“We know kids are going to go into different tracks — some will be going to college; some will be going to vocational school; some will be experiencing on-the-job training,” said school counselor Evelyn Montgomery, who coordinated the program.
“In this day and age, with the economy changing, you have to reinvent yourself,” she said. “The kids need to understand that in a person’s life, you can change career paths five, six, 12 times. It’s common.”
This year’s career day included representatives from a military unit, a small business and large-scale corporations. Participants, such as Aflac and the Georgia Department of Labor, sent speakers to talk with the students about their occupation and career experiences. Kids listened to — and in many cases had hands-on involvement — with the fields of fish biology, banking, electrical work, nursing and more.
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“There are some things you can’t teach by pencil and paper tasks. Kids learn best by seeing and actually doing,” Montgomery said.
Third-grader Brianna Martinez said she liked talking with the presenters during WOW Day.
“It shows me what kind of jobs I could do, just like them,” she said. “You can do any job you want to as long as you know what to do.”
Although right now Brianna said she wants to follow in the footsteps of her mother and become a doctor, she may have more than one job when she grows up “because I like a lot of things,” the third-grader said.
Staff Sgt. Stephen Thompson, a patrol explosive detector dog handler with the 209th Military Police Detachment, said he participated in the program so students could understand what the MP dog handlers do, not to encourage them specifically to enter that vocation.
“Perhaps one of them might see something, and if that’s what they do want to do, we’d be here to offer advice and answer questions,” he said. “You couldn’t ask for a better job. There’s nothing else I’d want to do.”
Austin Durall, 10, said WOW Day helped him “better understand jobs.”
“It gives me an idea of what I could be,” he said. “I could be a banker or I could work for the (department of) labor or I could be part of the canine unit. There’s so much to think about. You have so many choices so many things you want to do you can’t count them all.”
All grades participated in the program. Fifth-graders had an additional presentation about attitude, Montgomery said, since they will be headed to middle school next year.