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It's off to work with mom they go

| Friday, April 29, 2005

KITTANNING — Jocelyn Bassett knows that her mom goes off to work every day at the Kittanning Post Office and that she works at the front desk weighing mail, sending packages and selling stamps.

But that was it.

Yesterday Bassett, 12, and four other children of workers at the post office, Alex Thompson, 12, Brittanny Wiant, 12, Ashli Hollobaugh, 11 and Jacob Bowser, 11, got to see first hand what their moms or dads really do when the youths participated in Take Your Kid To Work Day.

The national program started as Take Your Daughter To Work Day. It was originally designed to encourage career selection and to educate children about what their parents do at work.

Some companies adapted the program to include sons and eventually the program evolved into Take Your Kid To Work Day.

Employees bring their kids to work on the fourth Thursday of April.

The kids learned everything from bar codes to zip codes, bulk mail to certified mail and how to sort all of that out.

“I thought it would be harder than it really is,” Jocelyn said. “I see that it's not. It's like using a computer.”

Jocelyn got to see the more interesting side of work at the post office when mom JoAnna Edwards asked customers with packages questions about hazardous materials. The U.S. Postal Service has increased security measures since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

It was also the first time that the Kittanning Post Office had allowed kids to come to work with their parents since the 2001 attacks.

Helping a woman mail a package to relatives in Italy was the highlight of Jocelyn's day.

“Sending something to Italy was cool,” Jocelyn said. “I like working at the front desk because I like meeting people.”

Alex Thompson already had an idea about his mom Marie Flowers' work place. “She told me about it,” he said.

“I knew what the outside looked like and I've seen the back room before,” Alex said. “But I thought the work would be different.

“I did learn some new things.”

Crossing off bar codes and using the register were his favorites jobs, he said.

“These kids pick things up fast, faster than we do because of knowing computers,” Edwards said.

“We tell them focus on the customers and think “GIST” which is greet, inquire, suggest and thank.

“Working here for the day is teaching them how to deal with people and to be respectful.”

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