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Beyond the classroom

Valencia Valley's Career Day kicks off school's Junior Achievement Program

Posted: February 12, 2009 12:09 a.m.
Updated: February 12, 2009 4:55 a.m.

Fourth- and fifth-grade students get a close-up look at a Talon remote-control robot as it's demonstrated by a member of the LAPD Bomb Squad as part of Career Day events at Valencia Valley School, Wednesday.

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Students learned practical facts about their dream jobs at Valencia Valley School's Career Day Wednesday.

"We want to make a connection between school and careers to inspire them to see all the possibilities out there," Principal Tammi Rainville said.

Career Day is part of the school's social studies curriculum and kicked off the Junior Achievement Program, which introduces students to community workers, finance, business and production.

Sixteen guest speakers, including a secret service agent, a LAPD bomb squad technician, a photographer, a neonatal nurse, a pilot, a cartoon animator and a journalist shared their work experiences with groups of third- through sixth-graders.

The speakers spoke about their backgrounds, why they chose their profession and whether they've had any other professions, said school counselor Susan Rasmussen.

"I learned about a global marketing manager," said sixth-grader Ricky Novaes. "She taught us about stocks and how to invest our money. I like the idea of investing my money and making it grow."

Each student chose three speakers with careers that interested them, rotating through 30-minute classes.
Sixth-grader Maddie Hawn attended a video engineer's class.

"He talked about how to produce movies and make the special effects," she said. "I like to see what happens behind the movies."

Career Day can connect education to a career, Rasmussen said.

"The earlier kids see some of the options, the more motivated they are to stay in school," she said. "We want to instill a love of learning because it's the stepping stone to future careers."

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