Kingswood Elementary Career Day 11/15/2019
Anna Wishon at Kingswood Career Day

On Friday, November 15, Special Collections & Archives hosted a Career day for the K-5 students at the Kingswood School at Crossnore here in Winston-Salem. Tanya and I (Rebecca) have been meeting with Bianca Brown, the Instructional Facilitator at Kingswood School, over the past year to plan programming for the Kingswood School. For those who don’t know, Kingswood School is a Forsyth County Public School housed on the Crossnore Campus that serves K-12 students. Described as an “alternative school,” Kingswood has a smaller population of students who may need more focus on their development and behavior. In our discussions with Bianca, we decided that our first step in planning programming for Kingswood would be to plan a Career Day for the K-5 students.

Kingswood Elementary Career Day 11/15/2019
Otis Attucks at Kingswood Career Day

With this as our plan, I began working with Finley to schedule a morning of five professionals rotating through five classrooms to present to the students. The K-5 classrooms are in two separate buildings, which proved a logistical challenge but with Finley’s help, we were able to make it work. We devised a schedule, put up directional signs, provided refreshments for presenters and teachers, and were available for assisting in any way we could.

Professionals included: Melde Rutledge (Digital Collections Librarian, WFU), Otis Attucks (Principal Scientist, TransTech Pharma), DuVaughn Major (CAD Designer, EBA Architects), Anna Wishon (Dental Hygienist, Carolina Cosmetic Dental Care), Bianca Marti-Johnson (Branch Manager, Assistant Vice President, First Bank). The day went wonderfully! The students were excited, the professionals were engaging, and the teachers were happy.

Kingswood Elementary Career Day 11/15/2019
Bianca Marti-Johnson at Kingswood Career Day

As a next step, we will be planning more programming for both the K-5 kids as well as the middle and high school students. I thank Finley Turner, Tanya Zanish-Belcher, Bianca Brown, and all of the professionals who donated their time and expertise to bring a new experience to these students. Funding was provided by a donation from Cathy and Andy Liverman, Class of 77. We offer them our deepest appreciation.

Kingswood Elementary Career Day 11/15/2019
DuVaughn Major at Kingswood Career Day

See pictures from the Kingswood School Career Day 2019 in our Flickr Album!

Finley’s Reflections

Some takeaway thoughts from the day:

  • Students were more engaged and interested when speakers brought and passed around props. Tactile learning as an option helped some students who had trouble listening. However, tactile learning and passing around of props shouldn’t be required, as many of the students had sensitivities to touch
    • Pictures on the screen didn’t seem to interest them that much
  • More time for speakers and more time for questions
    • Students (and teachers) had too many questions to be able to answer even half of them in the alotted time. We should consider extending the speaking time or adding in time at the end where the students can go to whichever speaker they want and ask their questions
  • Students enjoyed being asked about themselves, i.e. What do you want to be when you grow up? What do you like to read? They preferred this conversational style of a lecture
  • Students talked a lot about sports and athletes. It may be a good idea to ask an athlete or a coach from Wake Forest to speak at the next event. This would also be good if we do a career day with the high school students
  • Having the speakers and classes separated into two buildings caused unnecessary stress to speakers. They were unfamiliar with the campus and felt rushed to get between buildings. Speakers directly commented on this after all sessions were completed.
  • Speakers and Kingswood staff were extremely appreciative of the coffee and breakfast foods. This is a must for each career day!

Melde’s Reflection

Kingswood School Career Day 2019
Melde Rutledge at Kingswood Career Day

This was the first time I had the opportunity to speak with a class within an elementary school setting. The first group I was scheduled to speak with that morning were the first graders, which also included the third grade class. Because of the relatively small class sizes, coupled with a few absent students in their class, the third graders next door joined the first grader session. This was nice because it also gave me the opportunity to see the presentation by one of the other presenters, Otis Attucks, a research scientist at TransTech Pharma.

My time with the first group is a general reflection of how the day transpired with the other classes. After describing the different types of librarians who work in libraries, I explained to them what I do as a digital collections librarian, what digitization is, how we digitize our materials, what I like most about working at ZSR, and showed them our digitization equipment and digital collections homepage.

I love how engaged they were. Some of the questions they asked included: if they are old enough to use scanners, do I ever make mistakes, how long have I worked at Wake Forest, can I “talk to a computer” (coding), and general questions such as who is my favorite NFL football team. Also, kudos to the students in the second and fourth grade classes who provided me with technical assistance, by helping me figure out how to connect my laptop to their classroom monitor.

As a keepsake for them to remember our visit, the students were also given some of our coloring postcards from SCA and an SCA bookmark!