Thursday, March 13, 2014

Senior College/Career Readiness Week

The Van Buren Community School in conjunction with the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition, The Van Buren County Sheriff’s office, local financial institutions and Iowa Workforce held an educational event for graduating seniors. March 3rd-7th consisted of sessions that graduating seniors attended each day to help better prepare them for their exit from high school and entrance into college or the career world. The week got off to a rocky start with a snow delay on Monday but ground was quickly made up on Tuesday.

The Van Buren County Sheriff’s office reserve officers, Don Poole and Chris Kauffman held a session on personal safety. They spoke to the students about the importance of being aware of their surroundings, some basic self-defense and safety information they need to know if they are moving to a larger city to attend college, the military or start their career.

Three local financial institutions provided financial education and safety information to the students. Community First Bank, Libertyville Savings Bank and Farmers and Traders bank brought information on identity theft, financial security, credit card safety and money management as well as lots of fun giveaways. This session had great information for the students to help them be financially smart as they leave high school.

The Van Buren County SAFE Coalition and SEIDA Substance Abuse Agency provided the students with information about drug and alcohol safety. Students learned that they will be exposed to many new things as they leave Van Buren County and they want ensure they are prepared for the dangers of these drugs and the long term problems they may cause for their future. This presentation was innovative and got the kids up and moving to help illustrate the main message of the presentation.

The students spent one day taking the national career readiness certification. This test provided them with a score that employers will be looking for in the future as they hire new employees into the workforce. NCRC is a great opportunity for students because it increases employment opportunities and helps build a resume. Students received their scores right away and some are even talking about taking the test again to see if they can improve their scores. There has also been an interest from some local businesses to learn about implementing this certification as a part of their hiring process.

This was a very educational week for seniors. They learned many valuable skills they will be able to use for a lifetime. Plans are in the works for next year based on feedback from both the students and the presenters to make this event better in years to come. For more information about senior week you may contact Julie Chapuis at the Van Buren Community School- 319-293-3184 or Heidi Bainbridge at the Van Buren County SAFE Coalition 319-293-6412.

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