By Stacey Bomser
This is the third year sixth graders at Imagine Middle School West will participate in KAPOW (Kids and the Power of Work). The program has been so successful that this year the fifth grade Bi-Literate classes at Imagine Charter School at Weston will also take part in the program.
Through its unique business and school partnerships, KAPOW exposes students to career opportunities and helps them connect what they are learning to their futures in the workplace and life. For the past two years, Imagine sixth graders have learned about the medical field through the school’s partnership with Nicklaus Children’s Hospital.
The program consists of seven one-hour professionally designed lessons taught by hospital volunteers in the classroom. The program culminates with a field trip to the hospital where students can see the various career opportunities in action.
According to Middle School Team Leader and KAPOW Coordinator Patricia Roach, during the field trip students learned about bone fractures and orthopedics radiology. Students learned how patients are assessed and what they do in the urgent care center and the different emergency departments. The children had the chance to listen to each other’s heartbeats. The students learned about drawing blood and how blood pressure is taken. The children also got a chance to sit in an ambulance and see all the different emergency equipment.
“KAPOW builds on the child’s young imagination and enthusiasm for learning, encouraging the child through the business volunteer-led activities to understand and learn workplace skills and to make the important connection between school and work,” explains Mrs. Roach. “Through Imagine’s partnership with Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, the students learned that there are many opportunities in the medical field. They are encouraged to dream big!”
Principal Nadine Laham says she is pleased her school is able to participate in KAPOW. “Most students are unaware of the various opportunities and skills and sub-skills that are needed for many different fields. For instance, medicine and health careers have many avenues that can be explored. It’s not just becoming a doctor or a nurse. KAPOW’s monthly program activities and culminating field trip activates their imaginations and exposes them to some of the many possibilities.”
KAPOW is just one of many career readiness programs available to Imagine students. The school also participates in Junior Achievement. All fifth-grade classes visit JA BizTown while eighth graders have a culminating activity at JA Finance Park.
“Students need exposure and hands-on experience in order to know,” shares Principal Laham. “This year Imagine Weston is introducing a Business Professionals of America program and club for middle school students.”
For more information on KAPOW, or how your school or business can become a KAPOW partner, contact Program Director Tania Reynolds at 305-338-5548 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.