Ring Elementary Third-Graders Discover New Career Choices

“There are many steps in making an arrest. It’s not like a television show where a crime is solved in an hour. It takes many months to develop a case. Today, you’ll get an opportunity to try one way police officers investigate a crime – lifting fingerprints,” said Marilyn Gerace, JCC’s assistant dean of social sciences and business and director, criminal justice, to Ring Elementary School third-graders.

Gerace was just one presenter during Ring Elementary School’s Career Day at Jamestown Community College. Students had the unique opportunity to visit JCC and take part in seven career sessions with JCC instructors: Coaching with George Sisson, Firefighting with Josh Benson, Athletic Training with Aimee Brunelle, Zumba with instructor Raven Mason, Criminal Justice with Gerace, Occupational Therapy with Kathy Grace and Piloting with Rick Rupprecht.

“I loved meeting with the Jamestown fireman. I didn’t know that when a fireman goes into a home that a siren goes off on their mask when they are low on air,” said Colton Armella, Ring Elementary School third-grader. “I want to be a police officer when I grow up because I get to fight crime. I think being a police officer will also make me feel good because you get to help people.”

Teachers Sue Atkins, Kim Austin, Beth Johnson, Julie Sirianno and Melissa Yost collaborated with Kathy Stedman, JCC’s associate professor and director, physical education and dance, to help students discover more about future career choices. Jody Perrin, JCC senior project manager, graphic design, also designed a T-shirt, which read, “From C.C. Ring to JCC – Education is the Key.” The T-shirts were bought and donated to each Ring student by the JCC Student Senate.

“I have collaborated with the Ring teachers for three years to help students realize that higher education is the key to their success,” said Stedman. “JCC is a community college, and it’s great for the students to see some of the different career opportunities that they can pursue right here in their own backyard.”

The career unit begins with the third-grade teachers asking students to investigate possible careers through the online program, “Paws in Jobland.” Based on their interests, the website guides them through questions to determine what they might enjoy doing when they grow-up. Students research and do a report based on their career interests. Sue Atkins scheduled to have two parents visit the third-grade classes to talk about their careers: Lucy Schultz from Classy Canine Grooming Salon to discuss pet grooming and Jamie Haight from the New York State Department of Health to talk about becoming a field biologist.

“I chose to write about becoming an architect because that is what I have always wanted to be when I grow up,” said Ring School third-grader Phillip Seager. “I picked architecture because I really like building things, and I also love math, which you need to be a good architect. But I also really liked doing the Crime Scene Investigation at JCC; it was cool.”

“We do this unit every year because it is so important for students to look to their future,” said Kim Austin, Ring Elementary School teacher. “There are so many different opportunities in our own community that we want students to know about. Originally, the JCC connection focused on physical education careers, but Kathy has been so wonderful in adding new careers every year so the student can see the diversity available to them at JCC.”