Kids don’t always get a chance to climb through the back of a police car or try on a worn Georgia Bulldogs football helmet, but on Friday, that’s exactly what Alto Park Elementary School students got to do.
The end of the week brought on the school’s first Career Day, which gave students a glimpse into over 20 professions and introduced them to a number of fields open for future pursuit.
Judy Roebuck, a teacher of gifted education, said the event is a way to inspire children to start thinking about potential careers at an early age and to “plant a seed now” and cultivate it as the kids grow.
Careers represented included everything from engineering to aviation and nursing to food inspection.
However, the students — from pre-K to fifth grade — had their excitement peak in an instance of pure childish wonderment when they surrounded the parked Floyd County police patrol cars or stood before a fully-outfitted firefighter.
But holding a lineman’s NFL jersey to the chests of fifth-graders, as Coosa High teacher and football coach Todd Wheeler did, similarly inspired such awe from students.
Wheeler, who played in the NFL and for the University of Georgia, imparted on students the importance of not focusing myopically on athletics, saying that injuries can take away a career in the NFL but they can’t touch a college education.
Besides sharing what it takes to be an emergency medical technician, Ben Rigas, a manager for Floyd Medical Center Emergency Medical Services, used the day to teach kids what should be considered an emergency and what to know about calling 911 in an emergency.
The push to get students looking forward is about landing them in a position they want to do, Roebuck said. And Friday’s event gave them plenty of options that could be on their horizons.