– Every parent wonders what their child will be when they grow up, and this week at College of the North Atlantic (CNA) Bay St. George campus in Stephenville, 15 students from the local high school will get a few ideas that might help them decide when they graduate.
Wednesday, June 6 is “Take Our Kids to Work Day” – an initiative that’s been occurring for nearly 10 years between Stephenville High and CNA. Nine of the 15 Grade 9 students, whose parents work at the college, will see first-hand what their parents’ jobs entail, while the other six will be exposed to various aspects of the college they may not have previously known.
Karen Bennett is CNA’s Student Development Officer (SDO) at Bay St. George campus, and she will be taking the students around to various planned activities throughout the day. When they arrive, students will go with their “desk buddies” for about 15 minutes to get acquainted with their parents’ workplaces and coworkers.
First on the list of activities is a visit to the Digital Animation program, where they will be shown many of the innovative things that can be created with computers and graphics.
Next, they will spend a lot of time in the kitchen area, where they will be able to get hands-on experiences making their own lunches and desserts (pizza and pastries) via the Cook and Baker programs. The best part about this, said Bennett, is they will eat what they have made, and because they make a lot, they are able to box the rest and bring it home to share with families and friends.
The afternoon will see the group head to one of the Digital Filmmaking program’s studios to gain an understanding of how to design a set; watch interviews take place for a documentary film the Digital Filmmaking class is working on; observe how film editing is done; and, be given a lesson on composition within a film. The high school students will end their day in the Lecture Theatre of the DSB Fowlow Building to watch intercession films that were created by the program’s students.
“We feel this is how we are able to make a great day for our employees’ children who visit the campus, and it helps to plant the seed of future learning in them,” Bennett said. “The programs that we have chosen are very hands-on, and will keep them busy throughout the day.”
Odelia Caul is an English teacher at Stephenville High, and has been involved in co-ordinating “Take Our Kids to Work Day” with various partners throughout the community for several years. This event is traditionally held in November throughout the country, but she said Stephenville High has opted to hold its day in June for several reasons – one of which is they know the students better by then and can place them in work environments that are more beneficial to them.
“The other thing is in November students are not really thinking about going to work and part-time jobs, whereas in June they are,” said Caul. “They are turning 15 and starting to think about where they might get a summer job. And sometimes the ‘Take Our Kids to Work’ program will translate into a summer job for them. The objective is we want them to come back and see how easy school is; the world is hard, and if you only have a job making $10 an hour, life is difficult unless you have no bills. But if you have bills to pay like rent, insurance, gas or food or whatever the case, it becomes very little to live on very quickly. We strive for them to understand the benefits of going to college and university. One time if you had a high school diploma that was enough, but now you need another step.”
The experience also helps them appreciate how difficult their parents’ jobs can be every day, and then to come home and run a household can be even more taxing. Overall, the students have positive feedback on their experiences, and leave with more knowledge about some of the businesses and organizations in their own community, Caul added.
College of the North Atlantic