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Hall schools plan to roll out K-12 career program in fall
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0320CAREERAUD

Rhonda Samples, work-based learning coordinator for the Hall County school system, talks about planned summer camps for elementary-school students as part of fthe district’s new careers-based program, 21st Century Awareness Exploration Connections.

GAINESVILLE — Elementary school students often get their first exposure to an array of careers through adults visiting their class from the work place.

The Hall County school system plans to introduce a program, 21st Century Awareness Exploration Connections, next school year to intensify that effort at early grades through several other initiatives, including career days, field trips and skits.

“There really has been for a long time some discussion about people ... who work in communities, but what we have never done a very good job doing is showing what kind of skills people have to have to be successful,” said Cindy Blakley, the district’s director of secondary education.

“The career preparation may be a piece, but if they don’t have math and science, they’re not going to get to that point.”

The “awareness” part of the program focuses on elementary students, while the “exploration” part involves middle school students and “connections,” high-schoolers.

In the initiative, middle-schoolers could participate in “career-related research reports,” job shadowing and career fairs, guidance and interviews.

Students in high school could be involved in seminars, internships, apprenticeships, clinicals, projects and competitions, employability-skills training and college dual-enrollment.

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