Students at Blackshear Elementary School in the Austin Independent School District will learn the ins and outs of presiding over a courtroom, serving their city as an elected official and even upholding the law as a police officer, when more than 30 community leaders visit their campus this Friday to discuss their careers.
Friday’s visits mark Blackshear Elementary School’s 15th anniversary to host Role Model Day, an educational, community-strengthening event designed to introduce students to career options and to make real-world connections with what they are learning in the classroom and its importance to their futures.
"Role Model Day provides an excellent opportunity for our East Austin students and some of Austin's esteemed community leaders to personally interact. Students are exposed to a wide variety of jobs and a diverse group of adults who can answer questions and give firsthand feedback on the importance of education. Children also get a glimpse at the value of education to their futures," said Amanda Braziel, Blackshear Elementary School librarian. "Community members, in turn, have an eye-opening chance to see our wonderful students' minds and personalities in action and to briefly assume the role of teachers."
Community leaders, including Austin ISD Superintendent Meria Carstarphen, Austin City Council Members Kathie Tovo and Mike Martinez, firefighters, lawyers, bankers, business owners, police officers, and park rangers, among others, will discuss their careers and educational background with students, sharing why they chose to pursue their current profession and what the day-to-day duties involve.
During Role Model Day, speakers also showcase photographs or videos of projects they have worked on, websites, uniforms and equipment they use during their work. The event is for first through fifth graders at the school, but pre-K students and kindergartners also will have the opportunity to visit with firefighters and police officers as part of their study of community workers this week.
Margarine Beaman, a community benefactor, organizes the event annually.