A day for Berkeley’s children
At ‘Take Your Child to Work Day,’ kids learn about career, educational opportunities

By D. Lyn Hunter and Rachell Hacker


Sara Carothers, 10, and her mom Rebecca Green look on as a UCPD officer shows his gear during a tour of the department's facilities during ‘Take Your Child to Work Day.’ Both of Sara's parents are employees at UC libraries.
Noah Berger photo

02 May 2001 |

In the spirit of “Take Your Child to Work Day,” this article was written by Hunter, a Public Affairs writer, with help from Rachell, her 11-year-old daughter.

As the cameras rolled, 10-year-old Shannon Fields — seated on a brightly-lit stage with a “Cal” logo in the background — interviewed Jimmy Curtin, his classmate at Malcolm X Elementary School.

As host of his own talk show, Shannon, aided by cue cards, peppered his guest with questions, then wrapped up the program with a mighty “Go Bears!”

The youngster’s behind-the-scenes look at a real studio came courtesy of Jimmy’s mom, Audrey Ichinose — a producer and director with Media Services — as part of “Take Your Child to Work Day,” held last Thursday.

More than 200 children, accompanied by parents, grandparents and volunteers, came to learn about career and academic opportunities.

“I think I might want to be a sportscaster when I grow up,” said Shannon upon receiving a complimentary videotape of his interview.

Media Services was one of many units that hosted events for children. Other activities included a tour of KALX radio station, a look at the inner workings of plants at the Center for Biological Imaging, storytelling at the Graduate School of Education, excursions through the UC Police Department, and free rides to the top of the Campanile.

“Parents spend a lot of hours each day at work,” said Beth Luke, Employee Relations manager and one of several event organizers. “It’s important for their children to see where their parents go and what they do here.”

This is the second year the event has been celebrated campuswide. Though “Take Our Daughters to Work Day,” created by the Ms. Foundation in 1992, is nationally recognized, the campus altered the theme to embrace both sons and daughters.

To reach out to the local community, 30 Willard Junior High students were matched up with staff volunteers, like José Rodríguez, an editor in University Relations.

“Berkeley is right in their back yard, but these kids often aren’t aware of the career and educational resources here,” he said. “And since I don’t have children, it’s a great way for me to get out of my office and connect with today’s kids.”

After helping technicians at Communication and Network Services debug some Web sites, Willard 7th grader Miguel Guerrero changed his mind about what he wants to be when he grows up.

“I was going to be a paramedic,” said Miguel, “but now I want to go to Cal and learn to be a computer programmer.”

At noon, there was a sprawling picnic on Memorial Glade. While snacking on hot dogs, ice cream, cotton candy and popcorn — served by student and staff volunteers — the guests were serenaded by the Straw Hat Band, the Men’s Octet and the Campanile bells.

Chancellor Berdhal, a Cal logo painted on his face, walked through the crowd, greeting children and posing for photographs.

The young guests also bounced around in an Astrojump enclosure, received autographs from Berkeley athletes and were awarded a “Certificate of Attendance,” signed by Berdahl and Registrar Susie Castillo-Robson.

“By exploring the many different areas of the campus,” said Luke, who brought her granddaughter, “these kids get a sense of how we all work together to make Berkeley what it is.”

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