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Family Fun Night gives Luxemburg-Casco students chance to explore career opportunities and learn important life skills

Taking the approach that it’s never too early to explore career opportunities within the school community – and to put important life skills into practice – the Luxemburg-Casco School District held a special event on February 22 for its younger students.

Family Fun Night was set up for students in 4K through 8th grade. More than 500 people attended, including 280-plus students who participated. Over 60 students from L-C High School volunteered to lead activities.

Students were given a ‘treasure map’ to follow to specified locations. Upon completing the activity at each station, they received a sticker to place on the map. Filling up their map with stickers earned the student an ice cream sandwich in the school cafeteria.

“We received a ton of positive feedback on the event,” says Will Simonar, the high school technical education teacher who coordinated Family Fun Night. “Parents told me that their child didn’t want to leave. I also heard from them that our high school students did an amazing job of leading the activities, and that they were always smiling and cheering the younger kids on. It was a very rewarding night for everyone in our community.”

Simonar partnered with Stacey Jauquet, reading teacher at the Primary School, to make Family Fun Night a Title 1 event. Among the life skills emphasized at the Primary School (4K-Grade 2) were following the group plan; expected/unexpected behaviors; size of the problem; self-regulation; and cooperating with others.

Similarly, life skills discussed at the Intermediate School (Grades 3-6) were understanding and controlling emotions; self-control; problem solving; making and keeping friends; goal setting; self-regulation; and accountability.

There was a wide range of activities at Family Fun Night.

In the technology education space, students had the opportunity to explore woods by seeing how a bird feeder is made, along with viewing use of the plasma table and premade cutouts in the metals area. Within the Fab Lab, glass mugs with the Spartan logo and Spartan stickers were produced, while a demonstration of the school’s robotic arm also was given.

Multiple areas within agriculture were highlighted. Plant science was demonstrated by planting a seed, and there was a petting zoo for animal science. Ice cream was made to show food science.

Among additional academic disciplines to hold activities were math (escape room with math-level questions), business (make beaded key chains and color paper T-shirts), and healthcare.

Other hands-on activities included changing spark plugs in the Automotive Lab, sewing in the Family and Consumer Science rooms, an obstacle course in the middle-school gym, face painting in the art room, and fingerprinting with the school resource officers.

“This event could not have happened without the support of our teaching staff, who helped to supervise and set up activities,” Simonar adds. “We had more than 40 staff members participate.”

Youth apprenticeship staff took a poll of students on their “dream career” at Family Fun Night. Careers receiving the highest level of responses were education (34); ag, food & natural resources (23); healthcare (20); law & public safety (14); and STEM (10).

Simonar joked that, based on the student poll, the local community should have no shortage of teachers, veterinarians, doctors/nurses, police officers, and scientists/engineers.

And there was no shortage of enjoyment at Family Fun Night.