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RHS students learn through work-based learning

Not all learning takes place in a classroom, which is the idea behind Russellville High School’s work-based learning program.

The program began this school year and allows the 28 students in the class to travel during school hours to a job in exchange for one class credit and life skills.

“They are able to balance their schedules better because they won’t have to worry about getting done with school and then going to a job,” explained RHS work-based learning coordinator AnnaKay Holland.

Holland said students are able to learn skills from having a job, but they also have units in a classroom section where they learn about life skills, such as filing taxes, interviewing and professionalism.

“There are a lot of these things these kids don’t know, so this is really my chance to teach them about different skills they will use a lot as adults,” Holland said.

The work-based learning program has students placed in jobs at grocery stores, fast-food restaurants, parks and recreation, auto stores and more.

Holland said several students are using the opportunity to decide whether they will enjoy a particular field.

Other students, such as in cosmetology and welding, have already decided on their career paths and are using the program to get a foot in the door and begin their entry-level jobs.

“They are getting to go out and see what they enjoy,” Holland said. “Most students, when you ask them what they want to do with a career, don’t know. This gives them an opportunity to explore careers while also gaining valuable experience.”

RHS Career Tech Director Natalie Bendall said the program is a great way to get students working now as well as pave the path for their futures.

“We are able to connect our students to different businesses and industries to get them to work,” Bendall said.

Holland said the program has brought numerous benefits for students outside of the classroom.

“Even if they are not working in the career they want to be in for the rest of their life, they are still learning so many life skills,” Holland said. “The benefits are numerous.”

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