Harding Hosts Two Community Engagement Events in Two Weeks!

Posted on June 6, 2018
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Categories: Family News & Resources

Although the school year is coming to an end, Harding Middle School in the Frankford area of Northeast Philadelphia is showing no signs of slowing down. Harding hosted two back-to-back large events for its students and community members this spring. On Thursday, April 26, Harding hosted Career Day for its sixth and seventh graders. The following Thursday, on May 3, the school held its first Community Health Day.

Career Day aimed to provide students with information and opportunities to talk with people in various career fields. The event was mainly for the seventh grade, but select sixth grade classes as well as all special education classes were invited to attend. There were about 500-600 students in attendance at the fair, and students were placed in classrooms to give them time to really engage with professionals and to allow professionals to fully explain their roles and their career paths.

The purpose of Career Day is to give students the opportunity to explore the idea of different career paths, since many Philadelphia high schools have career-based curriculum. It also gives students the opportunity to interact with adults other than their teachers and parents. These adults are experts in their fields and can provide an entirely new outlook on certain trades and career paths.

This was Harding’s second career fair. Last year, the event was successful but much smaller. Harding staff members put in a lot of effort to ensure that the career fair could happen on a larger scale this year.

Staff member Blaire Downie was instrumental in planning Career Day this year.  “The kids gets so much out of it. They don’t want to leave,” Ms. Downie explains. More vendors showed up than anticipated, and in Ms. Downie’s opinion, this year’s Career Day has been the most successful yet.

To help them navigate Career Day, students were given a brochure that listed different career categories and all the vendors that fit into that category. Career categories included: arts and music; armed services, criminal justice and law; business, marketing, and sales; community and social work; cosmetology and barbering; education and museum work; food and hospitality; health and wellness, medical; literary fields; sciences, technology; trade, union, and hands-on.

Students were also given an interview worksheet with guiding questions so that they could effectively engage with people in the careers they were most interested in or curious about. With each completed interview worksheet, students were entered into a raffle to win a prize. There was also plenty of food for everyone! The best part of Career Day, though? That students at Harding were excited to explore many different careers.

About a week later, Harding Middle School hosted a Community Health Day.  The school invited many health-related organizations to set up tables in order to inform community members about different services they provided.

The event was planned by Harding’s Community Partnerships Coordinator, Natalie Agoos. Community Health Day aimed to get the entire community involved: teachers, staff, and students took advantage of the nice weather and held the event outdoors in front of the school so that community members walking by would feel welcome to walk up and attend.

After signing in, all attendees received a blue canvas bag, a healthy snack, and a much needed bottle of water. To combat the heat, a water ice table was set up right next to the sign-in table. Vendors set up tables both outside and inside the school so that community members could have a few moments of relief from the heat — plus, there were just too many vendors to fit on Harding’s front lawn!

The blue canvas bags certainly came in handy.  Every table had a wealth of information, flyers, brochures, and pamphlets about their organization and services. Some vendors included Keystone First, Temple Dental, Turning Points for Children, and the Clean Air Council.

Attendees could get their blood pressure checked among other quick health services, and Harding’s community farm even had a table offering healthy snacks. Children could participate in games and exercise, including jumping jacks, push-ups, and running.

Music blasted and the sun shone down as the Harding community enjoyed themselves while learning about health and available health service organizations.

Check out a video of all the highlights from the event!