2008-06-12 / Front Page

Islanders share 'treasures' with eager students

By Erin E. Brown

Amina Brown, left, and firefighter Jodie Woodside used teamwork to spray the heavy fire hose during Island Treasures day at Lawn Avenue School. The firefighting demonstration was just one of 26 workshops the students were able to choose from during the second annual event. Photo by Andrea von Hohenleiten Amina Brown, left, and firefighter Jodie Woodside used teamwork to spray the heavy fire hose during Island Treasures day at Lawn Avenue School. The firefighting demonstration was just one of 26 workshops the students were able to choose from during the second annual event. Photo by Andrea von Hohenleiten Island Treasures is an apt name for the unique career day that took place at the Lawn Avenue School last Friday.

The program, an island-wide educational outreach and career day in its second year, was met with a staggering response, according to Principle Kathy Almanzor.

"Island Treasures was started through discussions at our School Improvement Team meetings. We were looking for ways to connect our schools with the many talented folks in our community… we are overwhelmed by the willingness of our community members who have agreed to donate their time to us," Almanzor said.

Many talented participants did indeed take part in the island-wide event. The people of Jamestown turned out in force, each contributing their own, distinctive skills and knowledge. Everyone brought their expertise to the table. Among the contributors were soccer coaches, photographers, a dentist, an architect, and many more.

Milo DiGasper calls in an imaginary crime during his turn at the police car mike at the school's Island Treasures day. Photo by Andrea von Hohenleiten Milo DiGasper calls in an imaginary crime during his turn at the police car mike at the school's Island Treasures day. Photo by Andrea von Hohenleiten Jen Kittredge-Clark, who is an math coach at the school, said that while they had 20 workshops last year, this year they had increased to 26. She pointed out that some of the workshops had expanded to incorporate outdoor and offsite expeditions, ranging from bee keeping or pizza making to history, lighthouses, and painting.

Kittredge-Clark explained that the children were allowed to pick two of the workshops, one for the morning session, and one for the afternoon, which ensured that they were doing something that they were truly interested in. Each session lasted an hour and forty-five minutes.

One boy, who was participating in the outdoors program sponsored by Kettlebottom Outdoor Pursuits, said, "If we had a real class in this stuff, I'd take it!"

Two girls relayed how im- pressed they were with the police presentation, and how they had gotten to try on "drunk-goggles," which distort vision to the same degree of someone who is intoxicated. This let them literally see things from a different perspective, which they enjoyed, they said.

There were children learning soccer techniques, working on newspaper designs, conducting science experiments, practicing archery, riding in an ambulance, training a dog, and even dissecting owl pellets.

Some of the other workshops offered on Friday included a chance to design a summer cottage, a fitness training demonstration, rock climbing techniques, a football clinic, the basics of a newspaper, the world of engineering, and others.

Children suited up in real firefighting gear, and explored a fire truck, including the extendable ladder. They also got to investigate in depth the inner workings of a Jamestown squad car and an ambulance.

The professionals on hand were not just explaining their careers- they were letting the children find out for themselves.

Not only does the Island Treasures program allow the children of Jamestown to experience different aspects of prospective career choices, it also allows them to see the adults of their town coming together as a community to contribute to this event. They see the people that they admire and look up to giving up their time and energy to make this day possible.

Principle Almanzor summed it up by saying, "We live in a unique community which may be considered a small town, yet has a large number of talented individuals who share their knowledge and expertise with our children. The day provides a memorable learning experience for our students and provides them with a valuable lesson in the importance of community service."

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