Middle school students shadow workers on the job
By Ryan Judge
MILLBROOK — The Family and Consumer Sciences and Guidance departments at Millbrook Middle School collaborated to provide a golden opportunity to its students recently — the chance to see what the work world is really like.
On Wednesday, April 13, 49 middle school students participated in a job shadowing program. During this program, each student was paired with a professional from one of 15 different partner sites across Dutchess County. The partner sites varied in nature to represent many different career options and interests.
Partner sites included: Dutchess Community Action Partnership (which offers programs like Big Brothers Big Sisters, the Home Energy Assistance Program and the Energy Crisis Intervention Program), Dutchess Land Conservancy, Cornell Cooperative Extension, The Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook Golf & Tennis Club, Nationwide Insurance, Houlihan Lawrence Real Estate, Merritt Bookstore, Central Press, Marona’s IGA, Grace Church Preschool, Millbrook Library and schools within the Millbrook Central School District.
Participating students are not yet old enough to hold down jobs, but will be soon. This experience provided them with a taste of what the working world is like — a reality-based education even the best books cannot provide.
The students who were involved in the program are currently or have been enrolled in the home and career skills class. Home and career skills is a New York state-mandated program that focuses on providing students with the knowledge and skills to be leaders within their families, communities and their chosen professions. The program was made possible by a grant from The Millbrook Educational Foundation.
“It was really cool to see people work and make a difference at the same time,” said Benjamin Baez after reflecting on the day.
Kayla Critelli said she felt that the experience was really fun.
“I wish we could do this every year,” Critelli said. “I really learned a lot during this process.”
“My experience today has been really great because as a middle school student I never had the opportunity to go out into the community and try out a job like today’s students did,” said Teresa Paino, CFO of Dutchess Community Action Partnership.
Educators who participated said they were warmed to see the learning occur.
Millbrook Middle School Guidance Counselor Denise Hains said, “The experience has been a wonderful opportunity for our students to partner with and appreciate the surrounding community and the people who contribute to it.”
On Tuesday, May 17, the remaining 55 seventh-grade students from Millbrook will also have the opportunity to participate in the Job Shadowing Program.
Ryan Judge is the Family and Consumer Sciences teacher in the Millbrook School District.
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