Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 28, 2012

Third-graders introduced to career ideas

SUMMIT —  Being a grownup seems a lifetime away through third-grade eyes, but teachers know it actually is more like the day after tomorrow.

That is why the third-grade faculty team at Summit Elementary took all 90 of their students to the gym Tuesday and introduced them to scientists, bankers, beauticians and tow-truck operators — in fact, 16 professionals recruited from all walks of life to talk to their students about career choices.

Andy Jones, regional president of Community Trust Bank, got their attention with a couple of large-denomination bills — the $1,000 and $500 bills that have not been used for decades.

Sam and Steve McGuire talked to kids about their work, hauling cars with a tow truck.

Boyd County High’s basketball coach, Randy Anderson, and soccer coach, William Ferguson, fed young dreams of an athletic career.

Tara Kinnel, a chemical engineer, told children how chemistry could build a career.

Dr. Lisa Fugate, a family practice physician, brought stethoscopes and opthalmoscopes for kids to try out.

There also was a psychologist, a chiropractor, a computer game designer, a professor and others.

But why so early? “Kids are bombarded with violence, abuse, drugs, television commercials. Since everything else is coming at them at such a young age, we need to come at them early with this,” said Chris Wallace, one of five third-grade teachers at Summit. “Every child needs to know they have potential.”

And they need to know they can make choices, said her colleague Natalie Walter. “The choices they make now will matter.”

This career day will have an epilogue that may be even more memorable than a thousand-dollar bill. On Thursday, they will board buses and ride to Morehead, where they will spend the day at Morehead State University.

Their college day will include tours of dorms, the Adron Doran University Center and the new recreation center. They will dine at the university and are scheduled to meet MSU President Wayne Andrews.

“They will get the full college visit experience,” Wallace said. “We want to plant the seeds early while the innocence is there.”

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

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