‘Showing the love’ for our children

Published 12:40 am Sunday, January 21, 2018

As we have mentioned, with the month of February approaching, Natchez United and the Natchez-Adams County Educational Foundation are working on a very exciting opportunity! We are now partnering with the Natchez Chamber of Commerce and the Natchez-Adams County School District’s P-16 Committee in a new and exciting venture. As February is the month for Valentine’s Day, a career day of sorts with a theme along the lines of “Natchez-Adams County ‘Showing the Love’ for Our Children” It will be a day for our children to “Find [Their] Passion/Commitment in February.” The weather delayed our plans this past week, so we have rescheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Natchez Grand Hotel.

As Gandhi said, we must “be the change [we] want to see in this world.” Therefore, we need you! We will be hosting a meeting in the ballrooms at the Natchez Grand Hotel to collaborate and develop plans for presenting the professional landscape of Natchez to our local middle school students. Many local professionals have volunteered or recommended as experts in their “career cluster;” however, we need everyone!

We plan to align our program development according to the 12 career clusters designated by the Scouts Exploring Clubs:

  • Arts and humanities
  • Aviation
  • Business
  • Communications
  • Engineering and technology
  • Fire and EMS
  • Health care
  • Law and government
  • Law enforcement
  • Science
  • Skilled trades
  • Social services

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You may find more information about these clusters and the Exploring Club programs at www.exploring.org

Please tell your friends and colleagues — any additional people who you believe would participate and add value to our program. It is our hope that we can put together some brief, 20-25 minute presentations on each career cluster and career-specific displays to present to our middle school students in February. Research suggests that students in middle and high school are more likely to develop motivation in school that leads to higher levels of achievement when they begin to explore potential careers. This new motivation is mainly because these aspiring students — our future workforce — begin to see the opportunities available in the community around them and begin to dream of becoming active members of those local professions.

We are also very encouraged that the legislature is considering a bill to direct MDE to replace the current expensive and state-specific curriculum tests with the ACT ASPIRE assessments. What better measure of college and career readiness than the ACT? An additional feature of ACT is a survey that places students according to their interests on what they call the “World of Work Map.” This may be an additional tool in helping students identify careers that best fit their interests so that they become involved in more motivating paths to successful careers. Changing to the ACT-ASPIRE could also save a significant amount of tax dollars.

We recommend contacting senators and representatives to encourage them to support this decision.

We believe that these activities will be good beginnings to introducing careers and helping students connect with the ones that they really like. We look forward to your recommendations and participation Tuesday night!
Dr. Marvin Jeter is an educational consultant and member of Natchez United.