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Program prepares seniors for college, careers

At Russellville High School, teachers and administration are making an effort to educate students and prepare them for life after high school, whether that be college or the workforce. One way they are accomplishing this goal is through the Smart Work Ethics Program, which has been funded by a grant.

According to the grant proposal, RCS believes creating a foundation in employer-desired behaviors and skills is an integral component of ensuring students are truly college- and career-ready. This program’s content areas include communication skills and strategies, attitude, work ethic, image and appearance, interpersonal skills, teamwork, cognitive skills, taking initiative, time management, accountability, emotional intelligence and working with “difficult” people.

April 23 RHS set up a workshop for the program for the seniors, featuring large-group and small-group lessons. These lessons centered on the program curriculum’s focus on employability skills.

“We’re trying to teach them to pay attention and be on time. The whole program is about that,” said Career and Technical Education director Natalie Bendall.

Students were required to sign up for their chosen groups by a specific date and show up on time and prepared for the program Tuesday – all part of the process to teach them responsibility and deadlines, with which Bendall said students often struggle.

The all-day event began with Col. Norman Lier leading the large-group session before the students broke off into their individual groups and rotated among different stations.

Through an award system, students were about to earn “money” by implementing employability skills such as showing up on time, answering questions correctly and participating in discussion. At the end of the day, whoever had the most “money” received a gift card.

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