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Sandy Journal

Preparing for future careers starts in kindergarten

Oct 01, 2022 08:16PM ● By Julie Slama

By Julie Slama | [email protected]

For many students, Aug. 26 was a day like many other at the start of the school year when they’re getting to know their teachers, subjects and routines at school.

But for some kindergartners, it may have been historical. These young students had a chance to dress up as future professionals and share about their goals as part of Canyons School District’s annual college and career ready day.

School board officials, administrators and others came to elementary schools to observe the start of their education.

“They were sitting in circles and most of them were dressed as what they wanted to be,” Canyons Board of Education Vice President Steve Wrigley said, adding the top careers amongst the young students at Alta View and Willow Canyon, where he visited, were police officers and firefighters. “The kids were just really cute. They were talking about their hopes and dreams. I remember thinking that sometimes, people end up in other careers to put the food on the table and we don’t get to do what we want to do. These students have some really neat ambitions so I’m hoping they will get to be what they want to be.”

While Wrigley acknowledged not every student will grow up to become doctors and veterinarians, or even go to college, it’s the school district’s mission to prepare students for their future.

“Our hope is to have every kid college ready. They can choose whether or not they want to go to college, but our goal as a district has to have every kid college ready so they can go to college, if they choose to do so. We give wristbands, with graduating class of 2035, to keep that as a reachable goal and achievement in their education,” he said. “We want every kid a kid to aspire to be what they want to be; this day gives a purpose for going to school. You know, from day one, when they’re in kindergarten say, ‘Someday I'm going to grow up to be a doctor,’ then, they make that commitment then and will grow up to be a doctor. That's going to affect what classes they take in school — and if they take AP (Advanced Placement) courses, if they take the concurrent enrollment courses. If that's really something that they want to do and aspire to, that will change their whole educational direction.”

At Alta View, Wrigley shared with kindergartners about his careers. Students also learned how education helps people prepare for careers and they identified what tools go with which career, such as a mixing bowl to a baker or a fire hydrant to a firefighter, said Principal Scott Jameson. 

At Willow Canyon Elementary, Wrigley said students learned about careers by listening to teachers read books about different jobs as well as took part in activities.