Rural students in grades seven and eight will be converging on Donald Young School in Emo on Feb. 6 when it hosts its first career fair.
DYS principal Nancy Fretter and teacher Kim Bolen have been asking area businesses and professionals if they’d be willing to set up an information booth there.
The idea of holding the career fair was an idea Bolen brought from her last teaching post at Lac La Croix. It worked so well there, she had to mention it to Fretter, she said.
Since then, the pair have been recruiting pilots, teachers, nurses, and various other professions for the fair.
"Between the two of us, it’s coming together well," Bolen said.
Both also made good use of their students in preparing for the fair. Bolen said two "job censuses" were held in the grades six-eight at DYS.
One census polled what occupations the parents of the students had. The other one asked what occupations would the students be interested in learning more about.
As of Monday, Fretter said she had 16 confirmations along with several interested maybes.
"Many said they were pleased with the idea right away and said they were interested," she noted. "They just didn’t know who they were sending."
While the average grade seven student is still several years away from university or the job market, Fretter said events like career fairs, which focus students’ attention on their futures, is now part of the school curriculum.
"It’s important to know what’s out there," she stressed. "We want them to start thinking now so they can start setting goals."
"We just wanted them to see and think of the variety of jobs out there," echoed Bolen. "It ties in so well right now because the kids have to do their course selections in the next couple of weeks [for high school.]
"It’s the start of a process," she added.
Students from Crossroads School in Devlin will be touring the fair first from 9-10 a.m. Sturgeon Creek School students will be bused in next, and then Donald Young students (including ones in grade six) will get to tour the fair at 11 a.m.
Parents also are strongly encouraged to attend, Fretter said.
"If it works well, we’ll look at having it every two years," she added.