That is because about one dozen of those students became gainfully employed at their school, as they were connected with jobs after a competitive application and interview process. Principal Jennifer Sullivan said the group of students were afforded the opportunity to work in various positions throughout the building to better connect with their peers and to experience increased responsibilities ahead of their journey to middle school. That process, she said, perfectly fit with the Oswego City School District’s vision of having each student fully prepared and life ready.
“Having the job makes me feel really good inside and I’m helping the school, knowing I have the chance to do it,” said student Ella O’Connor. “Helping around the school also has made me come out of my shell a little bit.”
Those same real-world skills and experiences are exactly what Sullivan said she had hoped the inaugural sixth-grade jobs program would accomplish. O’Connor’s jobs include being a first-grade tutor, while students Zach Munger and Ava Torres are second-grade math tutors and Keira Pennington is an art room helper. Other sixth-grade workers include: Alyssa Spicer, Cohen Goewey, Xavier Erb and Liliana Thompson on safety patrol and both Chloe Helmer and Miles Bandla as bulletin board team members and Minetto Way mentors. Nunzio Holmquist also is a tutor and there have been additional means for other sixth-graders to gain employment.
During a recent sixth-grade jobs meeting, Bandla suggested Sullivan consider adding custodial worker assistant to the jobs list. While Sullivan said she has been excited to have an end-of-year celebration to reward a job well done to the team of sixth-graders, several of them said the recognition was not needed. O’Connor said to have the job was a privilege and Bandla said he was thankful to learn time management and collaboration.
Cindi Herrman, who has assisted with the jobs program and has overseen safety patrol, commended the students for being helpful, responsible and safe.