ELIZABETHTOWN - No matter their age, students at Elizabehtown-Lewis Central School are getting a unique look at what life may hold for them after finishing their education.
300 students in grades K-12 shuffled through the school's gymnasium April 30 as part of the annual Career Day event, a program that invites a wide variety of local professionals into the school to share some facts about their trade.
"We try to make it as interesting to the kids as possible and expose them to many different career opportunities," said Tammy Apthorp, an Elizabethtown-Lewis Parent Teacher Student Association member who has helped to organize Career Day each year since 2007.
60 people representing 42 different professions attended this year, the largest number ever for the event. Students had the opportunity to interview lawyers, nurses, farmers, beauticians, emergency responders, and elected officials, just to name a few.
"We take a survey every year to ask the kids what they want to see," explained Apthorp. "We try to integrate their responses into future Career Days so they can explore the career they're interested in."
In response to students, the program added many animal-related careers this year, including representatives from the CV-TEC Veterinary Technician program, Champlain Valley K-9 Search and Rescue, and a local equine therapy provider.
Each professional volunteers their time to come to the school and meet with students, for which Apthorp said she is very thankful.
"They have all been very responsive to what we want them to do," she said.
Apthorp said the face-to-face experience of exploring careers helps students broaden their minds in ways that go beyond what they would learn second-hand in the classroom.
"With all the budget cuts going on, this is a real solution for meeting state-mandated requirements in regards to curriculum and vocational training," she added.