Penn Manor elementary schools were filled with pediatricians, graphic artists, architects, professional athletes, archaeologists and police officers Friday – some of them full-sized and others miniature versions of real professionals.
It was all part of “Kids at Work Day,” when students were encouraged to come to school dressed as workers in professions they aspire to join. Grown-up professionals also were invited to schools to talk about their careers, and teachers and staff dressed in graduation gowns and clothes representing the colleges or schools they attended to advance their careers.
The event was started this year to promote career exploration and awareness at the district’s seven elementary schools and to encourage students to begin discussions in school and at home about college and careers. Parents were provided with age-appropriate career development activities to complete, such as naming a job for each letter of the alphabet or identifying careers spotted during a car ride.
Teachers also talked about the education and jobs that led them to become teachers.
“This was a great day,” said Eshleman Elementary principal Krista Cox. “I don’t think we could have anticipated that ‘Kids at Work’ would have been so popular with our students.”
“This day enlightened them to the many career choices available,” she said. “We truly saw the attitude that ‘education can get us anywhere’ expressed in our school.”
About 65 percent of Penn Manor High School graduates go on to attend a two- or four-year college or university, 7 percent go directly into the military, 10 percent go on to a one-year certificate or training program and 15 percent go directly into the workforce.