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A campus crawling with kids
Employees are encouraged to bring their offspring to ‘Take Our Children to Work Day,’ April 24, to learn about careers at Berkeley

16 April 2003

One of the most important questions kids ask themselves is “What am I going to be when I grow up?” To give them food for thought, Berkeley faculty and staff can bring their young sons, daughters, relatives, or neighborhood pals to campus for “Take Our Children to Work Day,” Thursday, April 24.

This nationally recognized event gives kids a chance to learn about different career opportunities by shadowing parents or adult friends at their workplace. Here on campus, children and adults can also can visit other departments that are sponsoring activities for all participants. In past years, for example, the UC police demonstrated how the instruments in their patrol cars work, KALX gave tours of its studios, and Educational Technology Services made videotapes of children and their parents during a mock-interivew show. A list of this year’s campuswide activities will be posted at urel.berkeley.edu/children/ index.html shortly before the event.

The day culminates with the Chancellor’s Picnic from noon to 1:30 p.m. in Memorial Glade, just north of Doe Library. There, participants can enjoy free hot dogs (and “not dogs”), drinks, and other goodies. Additional attractions include a bouncy castle, visits with Oski, autograph sessions with Cal athletes, and a chance to pet Sproul, the UC police dog.

In addition, the Lawrence Hall of Science will set up a science fair for the day, where kids can learn more about physics, solar power, and robots.

Whether participating individually or with a department group, faculty and staff are encouraged to plan ahead, especially since young minds tend to get bored easily, say event coordinators. Among the tips they offer are:

• Start the day with a small “welcome reception” for all department participants

• Take children on a brief tour of the worksite, using age-appropriate language to describe what happens there.

• Introduce children to co-workers.

• Invite speakers to give brief talks about their work.

• Create lasting memories by taking photographs or creating related artwork;

• End the day with a short closing celebration.

• On the way home, talk with your children about what they learned that day.

To help you plan your visit, see the "Take Our Children to Work Day" website, which includes scheduled activities, and tips for parents and campus departments. Also see www.daughtersandsonstowork.org. Be sure to dress children in comfortable shoes and warm clothing. Because they will tire, include rest and snack periods throughout the day, and do not extend activities past 3 p.m.

Remember, there are many areas on campus that children should not visit due to potential safety hazards, such as operating laboratories, machine shops, or chemical-storage rooms. Also, try not to distract those in the workplace who are not participating in the event and need to continue essential duties.

Staff members interested in bringing children to work should make arrangements in advance with their supervisors. Managers and supervisors are authorized to grant administrative leave to staff members to make it possible for them to participate.