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Meadowbrook students to try out different jobs

Students at Meadowbrook School will have the chance to experience a taste of real life May 27 to 31, when they get a firsthand look at different employment options. Photo: Metro Creative Connection

Meadowbrook School is gearing up for the school’s third annual Experiential Learning Week (ELW) – an initiative devoted to exposing kids to real life by allowing students to try their hand in a variety of jobs.

Students selected their top three choices from the 16 programs available, with the school enrolling them in one for the week of May 27 to 31.

According to principal Gregory Rankin, students started lining up outside the school at 6:45 a.m. to pick their programs for the week.

“All 200 students were waiting in line by the time the school bell went and the kids started coming to school," Rankin said. "It is amazing how important it is.”

During the week, students in all grade will participate in ELW, providing them "opportunities to engage in high-interest and authentic-learning experiences, alongside experts," according to the ELW sign-up sheet delivered to parents. The goal of ELW, according to the school, is to allow students the opportunity to "gain practical knowledge, skills and/or credentials," to "be better prepared for future learning, career interests and acquires skills in hands-on learning environments."

Rankin said it is important for students to get excited about knowledge and to obtain it in different ways.

“Learning doesn't just happen when we're sitting in a desk and you're reading a book or your listening to the teacher. Learning has to happen in other ways, as well,” he said. “Kids [will be] out of their seats, moving around and they’ll be talking to experts from our community who are coming in.”

Some of the available options included coding, outdoor education, photography and filmmaking, cosmetology and fashion, drama, animal care and law.

A program called Junkyard Wars will allow students who love to tinker and build the chance to work with construction, engineering, electronics and mechanics to build "some amazing devices," according to the parent sign-up sheet. Another option, Food and Cake Wars, will look at different food businesses and explore the different jobs in the industry – including owning your own business. Students will participate in cooking, baking and cake decorating, along with meal planning and kitchen safety.

The 16 program options, according to the school, were selected from a student survey that asked the kids what they would like to learn during ELW.

“The week itself takes teacher passion and student passion together,” he said. “Teachers take an inventory of what their skills and passions are and then, from there, put forward a pile of different ideas.”

This being his first year as principal of Meadowbrook, Rankin said he’s noticed the school is abuzz with excitement and the week is a definite highlight for everyone.

“The first thing I did when I got to the school is I asked students and parents, ‘What makes this school great?’ Every single one kept on saying to me, ‘Experiential Learning Week,” he said. “It just makes the school feel great.”

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