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Charlotte Amalie
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
HomeNewsArchives'SCHOOL-TO-WORK' FOCUS EXTENDING TO ST. JOHN

'SCHOOL-TO-WORK' FOCUS EXTENDING TO ST. JOHN

A fundamental purpose of formally educating young people, most teachers would agree, is to prepare them for the world of work. A year ago, the Departments of Education and Labor embarked on a new cooperative program with the business sector to identify employers' needs and expectations and develop educational tools to meet them.
St. John's two public schools and one private school will soon join the year-old "School-to-Work" initiative.
This week teachers, counselors and administrators of the Guy Benjamin the Julius E. Sprauve Schools met with vocational education officials and local business operators to get an introduction to the program.
"We're looking for employers to commit two or three days to work with students," Alecia Wells, Education Department program manager for vocational/technical education, said. "It's not a financial obligation; it's time."
Among the first to commit to helping the students under the program was John Garrison, president of the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park. "We said we'd do some job shadowing if there were any young people who want to know about the non-profit environmental organizations," he said. "They could come over here once a month to see what we're doing."
"Job shadowing" is just that — students spending time observing people at their place of employment to see what their work entails. The job shadowing component of the program will likely involve grades 6 through 9, Sprauve principal Shirley Joseph said. Before students are matched with businesses willing to show them the ropes, she added, some classroom instruction will take place.
"What we're working on now is the ‘character education' program," Joseph said. This, she explained, involves "developing respect and responsibility before we let children go out into the community."
"Character education," which is for students from kindergarten through the upper grades, was introduced at the Tuesday, Dec. 7, meeting to administrators of the three schools. Sprauve classes are from kindergarten through grade 8, and Benjamin and the private Pine Peace School offer grades K through 6.
Joseph said students and teachers will also expand their awareness of the working world through a "Career Visions" Internet instruction software program starting in January.
Plans to institute the School-To-Work program in the territory began in the mid-1990s, according to former program coordinator Bill Wood. The territory received federal funding of $400,000 to support the initiative last year, and the Labor and Education Departments set up a pilot program involving three public schools on St. Thomas and three more on St. Croix.
Wood said the plan is "to add as many schools as we possibly can."

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A fundamental purpose of formally educating young people, most teachers would agree, is to prepare them for the world of work. A year ago, the Departments of Education and Labor embarked on a new cooperative program with the business sector to identify employers' needs and expectations and develop educational tools to meet them.
St. John's two public schools and one private school will soon join the year-old "School-to-Work" initiative.
This week teachers, counselors and administrators of the Guy Benjamin the Julius E. Sprauve Schools met with vocational education officials and local business operators to get an introduction to the program.
"We're looking for employers to commit two or three days to work with students," Alecia Wells, Education Department program manager for vocational/technical education, said. "It's not a financial obligation; it's time."
Among the first to commit to helping the students under the program was John Garrison, president of the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park. "We said we'd do some job shadowing if there were any young people who want to know about the non-profit environmental organizations," he said. "They could come over here once a month to see what we're doing."
"Job shadowing" is just that -- students spending time observing people at their place of employment to see what their work entails. The job shadowing component of the program will likely involve grades 6 through 9, Sprauve principal Shirley Joseph said. Before students are matched with businesses willing to show them the ropes, she added, some classroom instruction will take place.
"What we're working on now is the ‘character education' program," Joseph said. This, she explained, involves "developing respect and responsibility before we let children go out into the community."
"Character education," which is for students from kindergarten through the upper grades, was introduced at the Tuesday, Dec. 7, meeting to administrators of the three schools. Sprauve classes are from kindergarten through grade 8, and Benjamin and the private Pine Peace School offer grades K through 6.
Joseph said students and teachers will also expand their awareness of the working world through a "Career Visions" Internet instruction software program starting in January.
Plans to institute the School-To-Work program in the territory began in the mid-1990s, according to former program coordinator Bill Wood. The territory received federal funding of $400,000 to support the initiative last year, and the Labor and Education Departments set up a pilot program involving three public schools on St. Thomas and three more on St. Croix.
Wood said the plan is "to add as many schools as we possibly can."