Now that the school year has ended, I find myself reflecting on a child’s education. School can provide instruction in an increasingly regulated curriculum 180 days per year. Applying that knowledge in a practical way, enriching our kids and providing meaningful experiences the remaining 185 days is one of the fun parts of being a parent. With each summer, I try to think of ways to keep my kids interested and inspired: a book club, reading about the Erie Canal and taking a trip through a lock, tracing the Hudson River from its Adirondack roots to Manhattan or systematically evaluating local mini golf ranges and analyzing our data. The possibilities are endless and if I were being honest, I’d admit I do this as much for my own amusement as theirs. Another way I’ve been able to help my kids see the world with a new perspective is by working for a company which supports Bring Your Child to Work Day. And, to the kids’ delight, it cut their school attendance from 180 days to 179.
What do your children think you do all day? That may change as they age. Have you ever thought about how what you do, or their perceptions of what you do, may affect their futures? Bring Your Child to Work Day is a great way to embrace and address these questions. Coming to work with a parent may allow a child to picture themselves positively in a future career or even provide the message that a fulfilling career is attainable. When able to picture these things, a child may set higher expectations for him or herself. It may expand their horizons to see career opportunities they never knew existed. And, they may have an “ah-ha” moment and realize that those math skills may have relevance after all!
Acadia Insurance proudly supports Bring Your Child to Work Day. This program, targeted toward kids aged 7-13, has evolved over the past twenty years. It is usually celebrated the fourth Thursday of April, although a company can hold it on any day of the year.
The initial thought a person may have is, “Am I really going to let my child miss a day of school to watch me sit in a cube?” Alas, this day can be so much more. I’ll never forget the ripple of fear I felt when our Regional Vice President asked me to spearhead the event for Acadia’s New York branch. Although I wanted to foster a day that met with our RVP’s expectations, the real question was, “How am I going to make insurance interesting to a room full of kids?”
We are very proud of our event, and the kids and employees all look forward to this. It is truly a group effort, and the program changes every year, which keeps the kids interested. Some of the lessons we’ve embraced include:
- A business etiquette primer.
- Learning to give a proper handshake.
- Learning the various positions within our company and how each one contributes to the overall organization.
- Learning some of the basic financials of a company.
- We hosted a miniature golf contest, setting up a variety of insurance related holes. (We adults had an embarrassing amount of fun setting that up).
- Understanding Risk.
- A lesson in marketing and branding, and how it influences us. Then they tasted, analyzed and priced the very same product which was packaged differently. (The results were all over the place!)
- The kids investigated a fictional claim, including a site analysis, taking photos and witness statements with those employees who do not have kids in this age range as actors.
- Appraising a building (Here came those math skills!)
- A video of a manufacturing process made with one of our customers so that they could see a product go from raw material to a store shelf.
- Seeing how social media pertains to the corporate and professional world.
- Office related mad libs for a bit of levity.
If your company is set up for it, I encourage you to consider an enriching day for your employee’s children. One never knows what subtle influence spending a day in the corporate world has on an impressionable young mind. I look forward to this day each year, and we all admit we are challenged to provide interesting, engaging and relevant sessions. What has your company done in the past for Bring Your Child to Work Day?