Jefferson Elementary’s ‘Impact Project’ shows students what it’s like to work a job

Young kids spend the day job shadowing

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Fifty fourth grade students at Jefferson Elementary experienced what it’s like to work a real job on Friday, Oct. 18.

This is called the “Impact Project” and was brought about by the First State Community Bank.

First State Community Bank chose Jefferson Elementary students to help give back to the community and make a positive learning experience for the young generation.

"We were able to work with them to develop an idea that we believe will impact our school and our community in the most positive and outside-of-the-box way we could come up with," Jefferson Elementary STREAM Specialist Kelley Branch said.

Last year, third grade students filled out a survey that helped them pair up with the job representative of their choice during this current project.

On Friday morning, representatives from various companies headed to Jefferson Elementary. From there, they took students with them to their job and allow the student to work for one hour.

"We needed our very best to draw in people from our community who believe in our students and believe in the future and the prosperity that our community has to come and pair up and match with students with those interests," Branch said.

School leaders said this is a good chance for the children to learn what type of job interests them for future career avenues.

“It was so fun that I can’t even say it," said 4th grader Mya Wilson, “It was fun to get off the campus and get to like be with somebody that you’ve never been with or be somewhere that you’ve never been.”

Mya shadowed Coach Rekha Patterson, Southeast Missouri State University’s head women’s basketball coach.

“One of the things you want young people to do is to dream big, and you want to open up their eyes so that anything is possible. And today I think they got a chance to see that anything is possible, they can dream big, and it can all happen here in Cape Girardeau," said Patterson.

"For the students to go out and see what opportunities they have; to be community leaders in our future and work, live and grow in our community is insanely amazing," Branch said.

Branch added that this is a great opportunity for the current business leaders in our area to educate and help with the career path for the future leaders of our community.

“For our community leaders to be able to show the future what they do and what they offer our community, it’s totally two-sides of the coin that are equally as powerful,” Branch said. “That is really where the impact is.”

“I really was deciding to be a lawyer, but I might just turn it around and play basketball," said Ivyana Myers, 4th grade student.

After the students work, they gathered at Dalhousie Golf Club where they continued their real world education. They also ate lunch and played a little golf on the course.

First State Community Bank paid the students $35 for their hour of work.

"They're going to spend, save and share," Branch said. "It's three parts of financial literacy."

They spent $20 on items from the Jefferson Elementary school store. Five of the dollars are theirs to keep and save while the other $10 will be donated to the charitable organizations of their choosing.

“That’s where the real magic is in this whole experience,” Branch said. “It’s what it means to be an all-inclusive community member. You work in your community, you build relationships in your community and you give back to the community.”

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