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Enders Road Elementary School hosts Career and Wellness Fair

Enders Road Elementary School students test-drive surgical equipment on Jan. 27.
Enders Road Elementary School students test-drive surgical equipment on Jan. 27.

Feb. 9, 2017: Thanks to the help of more than 20 community professionals, Enders Road Elementary School students are a little more prepared to answer the age-old question: “What do you want to be when you grow up?”

And if they don’t yet know this answer, they at least know success requires not only hard work and motivation, but keeping their minds and bodies healthy, too.

On Jan. 27, the Fayetteville-Manlius School District elementary school hosted for the first time a school-wide combined Career and Wellness Fair that exposes kindergarten through fourth-grade students to various careers and teaches them about personal health and well-being.

For the career exploration portion of the event, the school’s cafeteria was transformed into a series of stations. Using slideshows, demonstrations and examples of their work, more than 20 presenters – including a veterinarian, ecologist, politician, patent lawyer, small business owner, and more – discussed with student-groups their roles and responsibilities and what they like best about their jobs. 

Many presentations featured interactive activities for students to participate in, ranging from using a neurosurgical drill on a plastic human skill to capturing images using special photography equipment.

"An interactive and hands-on event like this can help elementary students make connections with goals or careers they are passionate about,” Enders Road Elementary School counselor Katherine Haley said.

While visiting Manlius Fire Department Lt. Christopher Halliday’s station, a group of kindergarten students passed around a firefighter helmet while listening to the lieutenant discuss the on-the-job gear he wears and tools he uses. At local news anchor Megan Coleman’s station, students watched recent news clips and learned about the various activities the local reporter’s participated in while covering a story. 

“There I am, milking a cow,” Mrs. Coleman told a group of giggling students as they watched video footage from recent her trip to the New York State Fair. “You never know what types of things you’ll encounter when doing this job.” 

After cycling through the workshop, each grade level moved into the school’s gymnasium where local personal trainer and yoga instructor Trish Gallen led a group fitness class. In between exercises, Mrs. Gallen discussed with students the importance of maintaining a healthy well-being through physical fitness and fueling the body properly. She also discussed the importance of being mindful, which is the practice of paying more attention to the present moment.

“It’s important to slow down sometimes,” Mrs. Gallen told a group of first-graders who were sitting cross-legged on the gymnasium floor. “I want to help you find focus and calm in a world full of distractions.”

A mediation session closed each group’s wellness session. Mrs. Gallen encouraged students to lie on their backs and for three minutes close their eyes, inhale deeply and exhale slowly.

“Focus on your breathing,” she told students. “How we breathe not only affects our movement, balance and posture, it is crucial to our ability to manage stress and achieve success.”

Event organizers added the wellness component to the career fair, which was held for the first time last year, to show students how they can create and maintain lifestyles that will provide them with optimal physical and mental health, Mrs. Haley said.

The images below were taken during Enders Road Elementary School's Career and Wellness Fair on Jan. 27.





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