School helps students explore options during Career Day

Mar. 30, 2013 @ 05:19 AM

One of the most common questions a child is asked is always “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

Students at Rutherfordton Elementary School explored several options for their future during the school’s Career Day on Friday.

“I like seeing the kids experience and become hands-on with the different careers. It gets them excited about the future,” said Kelly Sisk, principal. “They are smiling, touching and experiencing.”

Along with the fire trucks and police cars, one of the highlights of the day was Trey Hooper and his dog Matrix. Hooper is a canine officer with the Rutherford County Sheriff’s Department and demonstrated how Matrix sniffs out narcotics to the students.

“They are enjoying it and their questions are great. The kids seem to enjoy the dog,” Hooper said.

Rutherfordton Fire Chief Tommy Blanton displayed the town’s new ladder truck and entertained the crowd of students by climbing to the top.

“I can’t stand it when he is up there. It makes me nervous,” said Blanton’s daughter Rebecca who is a student at the school.

Lisa Higgins, agriculture teacher at R-S Central, and students from the school’s Future Farmers of America (FFA) program also introduced the elementary classes to a goat named Maggie and some guinea pigs while talking to them about agriculture classes that are available to them in high school.

“We want to get students ready for the world or workforce. We want them to start thinking about careers and what they want to be,” said Michelle Webber, guidance counselor at Rutherfordton. “The new push is to have kids college and career ready. They are seeing careers first-hand today.”

Webber said the school has been using “Paws in Jobland,” an interactive computer game from the College Foundation of North Carolina, which allows students to explore even more career options. In the game, students get descriptions and pictures of jobs from a dog named Paws and financial advice from Fat Cat.

“It’s a really neat program for elementary school students to use to look at careers. It’s also free so parents can do it with their children,” Webber said.

Other attendees for Career Day included Hospice of Rutherford County, Tri City Concrete, Rutherfordton Fire Department, Forest City Owls, BMW Manufacturing and Youth Empowerment.

“We need to start early and start letting the students know about the opportunities out there,” Webber said.