Students tag along with parents at work

Prairie River Junior High School student Danelle Gacuya, left, works with her mother, Bernadette Gacuya, in food services at the High Prairie Health Complex, as part of Take Your Kid to Work day.

Richard Froese
South Peace News

Junior high school students spent a day with their parents on the job Nov. 29.

Grade 9 students of Prairie River Junior High School in High Prairie shadowed their parent or other adult in Take Your Kid to Work, a provincial government program.

“We had 29 participants and we look forward to that number growing,” says Diane Bellerose, a career coach for four years with High Prairie School Division.

“To our knowledge this is the first time in 10 years that Prairie River Junior High has participated.”

Launched in 1994, the program provides Grade 9 students an opportunity to experience a “day in the life” of a professional within a workplace allows students to explore the world of work and helps them make informed educational decisions, Bellerose says.

Students sometimes want to follow in the footsteps of their parents in a chosen career path.

“Some students had no idea how busy their parents are at work,” Bellerose says.

Participating students spent a day in a variety of careers and occupations such culinary arts, welding, mechanical, librarian, office administration, education, custodian, banking, retail, agriculture, community health, information technology, human resources and management.

Students gave the program top marks for the unique experience.

Connor Reimer worked at Reimer Foundations.

“It was really good,” Reimer says.

“I’ve done a lot of the job before but I got a chance to work on a back hoe, which was really cool.

“I’m interested in working on heavy equipment and getting to do it only made me want to do more.”

Davin Degner worked at Degner Service and Repair with his father Edwin Degner.

“I always knew my dad worked hard,” the young Degner says.

“I enjoyed the day but I also know that I don’t really want to work on heavy equipment.”

Alyssa Gray worked at TD Canada Trust with her mother Samantha McNutt.

“I had some idea of what my mom did, but I didn’t know how many things she did at the same time, it was crazy,” Gray says.

“She interacted with people, did math in her head and entered information on the computer.”

Danelle Gacuya worked at the High Prairie Health Complex in the dietary services with her mother Bernadette Gacuya.

“I didn’t realize how many different things she has to remember, like details about patients,” says the young Gacuya.

“I enjoyed it and I’m interested in working somewhere in the health field.”

Iliegh Kerr worked at High Prairie School Division Learning Support Centre.

“I didn’t know how much went into running schools and the division,” Kerr says.

“Organizing the buses was really interesting; there was so much information to keep track of and so many details to remember.

“I can’t see myself working in an office but it was so cool, though.”

Parents and employees agreed it’s a great opportunity and partnership for students and employers.

Treva Emter, High Prairie School Division assistant superintendent of learning, says it’s a terrific opportunity for staff to share with students some of the work that is done at the main office building.

“Our students benefit when adults give them a glimpse into potential future careers,” Emter says.

“We hope that students will join us again next year.”

David Bissell, employed at Allan’s Welding sees value in the program.

“I enjoyed it and so did my daughter Alexis,” Bissell says.

“It’s a good learning experience for the kids and it’s something they need.

“It gives them a little more understanding of what’s going on.”

Curtis Reimer, owner of Reimer Foundations says it’s a great idea.

“It gives them a little bit of practical experience, a chance to work out in the world,” Reimer says.

“It gives them an idea of what everybody has to do from day to day.”

Food services manager Paul Atkinson says he plans to participate in the program again.

“It is good for the young people to see what their parents do for a living and also to experience a variety of different careers and occupations,” Atkinson says.

Grade 9 student Nick Johansson, left, helps mother, Riana Deynaka at Peavey Mart in High Prairie.

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