JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Students at the Visual and Performing Arts Magnet School in Jonesboro put down their pencils and books for some hands-on education Monday.
"Careers on Wheels" took place for their first students in first through third grade.
Counselor Linda Whiteside with VPA said the students got to visit professionals from a variety of different fields.
"We've got everyone from Joe Perry to Jonesboro Public School Transportation to our bus and maintenance department," Whiteside said. "We have Emerson Ambulance service here, the postal service, the ground crew here. The Jonesboro Police Department is visiting with us along with the Craighead County Sheriff's Department, City, Water and Light and even Suddenlink."
Whiteside said this was the first year for the school to have this program.
"We've always had a career café with our older kids, but this is the first event with grades one through third," she said.
Whiteside said the students seemed to really enjoy themselves.
"I loved the big armored truck," third grader Grace Schroeppel said. "It's interesting because if you go in it, and someone is trying to chase you, it's built to make you safe. It's also bulletproof. Bullets can't get in, and you have to wear a special armor to get in there."
Third grader Mackenzie Hicks said her favorite thing was the search and rescue dog from the Craighead County Sheriff's Department.
"The coolest thing I saw was the dog," Hicks said. "It can find people because he can see the footprints in the grass."
Whiteside said they want the children to begin to see what all is out there.
"We expose them to a variety of careers," Whiteside said. "Also we want them to connect what they're learning in the classroom to what they're seeing here today. We wanted to also expose them to a variety of businesses and resources so that they will know they have this opportunity available to them when they become adults, and they work in the real world."
Both Grace and Mackenzie agreed other schools should invest in a career day like theirs.
"They should have a career day," Grace said. "Someday when they grow up, they may know what they want to be, but they don't know how to be it. And if that certain person who has that certain career can come and tell about it and they can learn some more and be prepared when they grow up."
"They get to learn about what people do for their jobs," Mackenzie said. "And they can know what to do when they grow up."
"They're going to grow up one day," Whiteside said. "They're going to want to choose a career to go into. By exposing them at this early age, they can make better decisions early on. And of course, we're trying to get them ready for college. And even those who don't go on to college, we're exposing them to careers they can study and maybe get a job in later."
Nineteen presenters were set up in the school's parking lot.
Around 365 students got to visit all the stations and ask the presenters questions.
Whiteside said they hope to make this an annual event.
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