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Taking your kids to work

Several teachers at Connellsville Area High School were trailed by little helpers Thursday as the school participated in Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day.

Launched as the newest incarnation of Take Our Children to Work Day by the Ms. Foundation for Women, the program is designed to introduce young girls and boys to the workplace. The program takes place on the fourth Thursday in April every year.

"There are a few of us participating," English teacher Lynn Ritenour said. "It's a nice program."

Participants at Connellsville Area were Ritenour and daughter Autumn, 9; math teacher Jennie Becker and children Elizabeth, 9, and Lawrence, 8; health teacher Deborah Luczka and daughter, Jenna, 11, and English teacher Heidi Eutsey and daughter, Elle, 10.

"They have been looking forward to this all year," Eutsey said.

According to the Ms. Foundation for Women, the program is meant to broaden the discussion about competing challenges between work and family.

This year's theme was "Today's Vision, Tomorrow's Reality." Included in the program's activities was a national contest called "Framing Your Wish." For the contest, girls and boys between the ages of 8 and 12 are asked to create a poem or drawing that reflects their work or family life vision or wish. Ten winners will be selected (five poems and five drawings) and awarded $100 each.

Ritenour said there is no formal organizer for the program at Connellsville Area. The faculty who participate just bring their kids along and let them experience secondary education first-hand. The program is strongly endorsed by organizations and government officials across the country.

Gov. Edward G. Rendell said Take Your Daughters and Sons to Work Day is the perfect opportunity for working parents to show their children what hard work and dedication can achieve.

"Children can explore the wide variety of career opportunities that await them and gain a better appreciation for everything their parents do to give them a good life," he said in a statement of endorsement. "This special day can be a unique, inspiring and bonding experience for both parent and child."

To assist parents in taking full advantage of the program, the Ms. Foundation created tools that will help initiate conversations with daughters, sons, relatives or other kids around work and family.

Visit www.daughtersandsonstowork.org for activities and a toolkit with everything needed to prepare for next year.

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