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Archive for Tuesday, October 5, 1999

NEW GRANT TO HELP STUDENTS GET REAL-WORLD EXPERIENCE

October 5, 1999

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A $293,000 grant to the Lawrence school district will be used to try to make the world of work more relevant to students.

"You can do all the stuff you want in the classroom, but there's still got to be that real-world connection," said Barbara Attivo, a supervisor of instruction and curriculum assigned to the district's School to Careers program.

"This (program) is so kids can make wise decisions about courses and things they might want to do for careers."

The grant, funded by Kansas Department of Housing and Commerce, will be spread over three years.

Attivo said one example of how the program will be implemented is shown in the work already done by Maureen Williams, a math teacher at Southwest Junior High School. Williams did an internship last summer at Bud Jennings Carpet One in Lawrence. In her math classes this fall, Williams plans to develop math assignments based on the work experiences of carpet sales clerks or installers.

Attivo also said students would have internship opportunities as part of the program. For example, students completing family and consumer science courses might take internships in the child-care, food or interior-design fields, she said.

"They'd spend part of the day working alongside someone doing that job," she said. "They'd get high school credit."

Attivo said workers in various trades would visit classrooms. Some students don't appreciate that they can earn a good living with training obtained on the job, in a technical school or at a community college. Not everyone needs to go to a four-year university, she said.

"We're trying to get students to realize you need training after graduation, but there's a range" of possibilities, Attivo said. "One size does not fit all."

-- Tim Carpenter's phone message number is 832-7155. His e-mail address is tcarpenter@ljworld.com.

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