Beyond classroom walls

HMS students get opportunity to work, job shadow for a day

On Feb. 1 Heritage Middle School had 240 eighth graders placed throughout the community for the Blount County Junior Achievement Job Shadowing project.

Marie Richardson, an eighth grade language arts teacher at HMS, has been the job shadowing coordinator for several years. Karen Rice, another eighth grade language arts teacher, has been assisting in this program. For the last six years, the program has expanded to now include the majority of the eighth graders. Approximately 83 students worked their own placements out.

Richardson said job shadowing is an excellent opportunity for students to receive an up-close look into the world of work. This program gives more than one million students across the country the “shadow” experience of a mentor as he or she goes through a normal day on the job. As a result, young people are able to see how skills learned in school relate to the place of work. They also get to experience jobs behind the scenes. “It’s eye-opening when they’re involved on the job,” she said.

The buses from HMS had very busy routes on Shadow Day as well. Students were taken to Blount Highway Safety, Blount County 911 Emergency Communications, United Community Bank, Alcoa Wal-Mart, Green Bank, Accessoride, Therapy Center, TNT Gymnastics, Walland and Porter Elementary schools, Remax, Blount Discount Pharmacy, the Blount County Mayor’s Office, the Blount County District Attorney’s office, the Blount County Justice Center, the Daily Times, Target, Maryville Healthcare Center, Game Crazy, Hands of Time, Blount Hearing and Speech, McGhee Tyson Airport and the Chapman Highway Wal-Mart.

Richardson said the businesses deserved a big “Thank you” for their participation. “In addition, the principals and teachers at HMS have been very supportive in this program’s endeavors,” she said.

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