SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - Take Your Child to Work Day, on April 28, was an opportunity to introduce children to a world outside of the classroom.

This day emphasized the value of education and opens eyes to new possibilities.  Children learn about different careers and consider their own interests in the process.  

At Greenbrook Elementary School in the South Brunswick School District, we work to be inclusive of all students.

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Surveying families and teachers, we found that many of our students would not have the opportunity to go to work with a parent on this day.

Therefore, in an effort to provide meaningful experiences that enrich our students’ lives, we created “Take Your Student to Work Day.”

This served as an alternative for those who could not spend the day with a parent.

Working with local community members, we arranged for two free field trips to support our students’ academic and personal development.  Our students were able to choose which option better suited their personal interests.

Our first “Take Your Student to Work” field trip brought our Greenbrook Gators to Frick Chemistry Lab in Princeton University.

Once there, students took a tour of the modern facility and learned about the daily tasks of a chemist.  Our fully engaged students then questioned the tour guide on all things from technology, to work environment, to chemical safety.

After the tour, students listened to a series of presentations from Princeton University graduate students, a science writer, and the web developer for the organization.

They used a black light to spot counterfeit money and learned about current research in the field.

Our students then enjoyed lunch and a pick-up soccer game on the historic campus of Princeton.

They imagined themselves as college students and discussed their future career goals.  Finally, students participated in a hands-on activity making silly putty and witnessed an explosive chemistry show by university professors.  

The second field trip took students to the Coca Cola Factory on Deans Rhode Hall Road and Route 130 in South Brunswick.

Our students toured the facility and learned about the daily operations of a factory.  They watched in amazement as a series of robots moved beverages and loaded conveyor belts, considering how technological advances make this type of work more efficient.

Students then used their imagination to design their own robots to share with company employees.

Next, the students learned about Coca Cola’s initiatives to raise awareness about the importance of recycling.

Our students finished the day by sampling child-friendly products and becoming official Coca Cola ambassadors.

South Brunswick schools are known for their high quality education.

While we strive to promote academic excellence, we also work towards the personal development of each child.

This year on Take Your Child to Work Day, 36 students had the opportunity to experience a  day of “work” with their teacher.  

This meaningful experience gave our students new aspirations and motivation for the future.

One student explained, “I want to be a scientist and now I know all about what I need to do make that happen.”

Another student decided, “I think I’d like to design robots when I grow up.  I have ideas for how to make them work even faster.”

We are extremely grateful to The Coca Cola Factory and Frick Chemistry Lab for their support in making this day one our students will never forget.

Melissa Caruso is a Title I Support Teacher at the Greenbrook Elementary School.

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