"It's been great spending the day at work with Mom and seeing what she does every day," says Zander Veccia, a Grade 9 Ursuline College student, who is participating in the annual Take Our Kids to Work Day, with his mom Deb Veccia, a supervisor with the Municipality of Chatham-Kent's Parks and Horticulture Department.
"All of the students participating in Take Our Kids to Work Day with the Municipality had a chance to visit a number of CK departments during the morning," says Deb Veccia. "They took part in planned activities at the Chatham-Kent Museum, Public Utilities and Ontario Works departments and at the Cultural Centre. This afternoon, Zander will be touring parks with me to inspect playground equipment and make sure it's safe and in good repair."
During today's Take Our Kids to Work Day event, more than 300 students at UCC in Chatham and about 250 from St. Patrick's Catholic High School in Sarnia spent the day at work with parents, grandparents, trusted friends or neighbours.
"Not every student who goes to work with a parent is necessarily choosing a career pathway they want to follow," says Sandra Dowdall, Business and Cooperative Education Department Head at Ursuline College. "But when they come back to school we ask them to give a report to the class and sometimes what they have to say piques the interest of another student and that begins a conversation about their future."
It is hoped that Take Our Kids to Work Day is a springboard that can lead students to an experiential learning journey through a variety of cooperative placements that are available through their high school.
While the Grade 9 students are away from school for the day, both Ursuline College and St. Patrick's invite elementary students in, to spend the day rotating through classes and experiencing some of what their Catholic high schools have to offer. Tours are organized and led by high school student leaders.
"It's a great day for students in our elementary partner schools get an overview of the many courses and extra curricular activities available to them; and to get a taste of student life at UCC," says Ray Power, Principal of Ursuline College. "Our student leaders do an amazing job of making them feel welcome and answering their questions."
In the photos (top left) Zander Veccia and his mom, Deb, inspect playground equipment at a Chatham park; (above right) a student from Holy Family Catholic School chats about the media technology program at Ursuline College with a UCC student leader; and (bottom left) students from St. Patrick's Catholic High School participate in Take Our Kids to Work Day at Home Depot in Sarnia.