Lieutenant Oriana Blackwood of the Jamaica Defence Force assists Ockoyou Scarlett, grade two student at John Rollins Success Primary, with tying his shoe lace during a visit from the Jamaica Defence Force on Friday, February 10.
NATIONAL CAREER Week ended on a high for students of John Rollins Success Primary School in St James, with the level of engagement during the face-to-face staging of Career Day held on Friday, February 10, praised as the school’s biggest and best.
While Career Day activities previously had to be done online due to the COVID-19 pandemic, John Rollins’ principal, Yvonne Miller-Wisdom, said that Friday’s face-to-face interactions between the students and the vocational workers who visited the institution were filled with excitement.
“We’re looking forward to a bigger staging next year. I know it was a day when students were not able to stay with their academics or core subjects but took a day to learn something outside of the four walls of the classroom. We try to create an environment where children can see their future and the career that they need to take to reach their future,” Wisdom-Miller said
According to Miller-Wisdom, unlike previous years of just a classroom visit from the different professionals, the direct interaction and engagement with the entire school body made this year’s Career Day worthwhile.
Soldiers, pilots, police officers, doctors, chefs, and garbage collectors were among the various career choices represented by the students’ outfits during the day’s proceedings. Twenty students were also taken to the stables at the nearby Half Moon Resort, where they learned first-hand tips on horseback riding from trained equestrians or experts on riding horses.
The highlight of the day’s activities was the interaction between Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) members and the ‘mini-soldiers’ as they did drills on stage. Aiden Hacker, a grade two student who was given the name Private A. Hacker, won a prize for doing 21 push-ups.
“The parents bought into the idea that yes, time is hard, but they made the sacrifice to purchase those materials for the students, and the teachers believe in it as well and they want the students to be engaged in these activities,” Miller-Wisdom explained.
Stephen Jennings, president of the school’s Parent Teacher’s Association (PTA), noted that the John Rollins Success Primary’s Career Day exceeded his expectations because of the interaction of students with the different vocational workers.
“This is the first time we invited a barber, and he came and cut some hair. Prior to that, we would have sent home permission slips for parents to sign for their children’s hair to be cut. I am happy we had something tangible, which is a non-traditional job vocation. When the boys saw the barber here looking professional, they were excited about it,” said Jennings.
The PTA president noted that having more professionals on board for the Career Day staging helped to make a major difference.
“Having more personnel, we can engage with more students at every particular point in time. When we had limited personnel, we found out that some of the students weren’t engaged enough, but today (Friday), they were overly engaged if you ask me,” Jennings added.