Tuesday, June 30, 2015

How DEL Olympia Took Kids to Work

On Thursday, June 25, DEL in Olympia celebrated "Take Your Child to Work Day" by inviting the children of employees to attend work for either full or half of the day. Around 40 kids attended, ranging in ages from toddler to 15.

DEL designed their celebration after receiving the governor's proclamation regarding the event. In the state-wide, suggested guidelines it states that,
"Children who are between the ages of seven and eighteen years old will gain the most benefit from this experience. Children under seven may not have the comprehension skills or attention span to benefit from this event."
Because the Department of Early Learning's work affects young children (birth to three and beyond), the agency felt it was essential to include their own little learners. DEL offered activities that represent early learning principles, showing that children start learning at birth (and even before).

The day’s festivities included:
  • Block Fest
  • a work-themed scavenger hunt, 
  • social-emotional learning activities, 
  • capital tours, 
  • a tour of the HVAC system on the roof of headquarters, 
  • badge-making and
  • a “mock meeting” with ice cream.
Kids were also encouraged to create their own graffiti in DEL's Partnerships and Collaboration division: Strengthening Families. This is the area of DEL that focuses on:
  • strengthening family bonds,
  • understanding childhood development,
  • coping with the challenge of parenting and
  • developing positive discipline skills.
DEL employee's children created graffiti in the Strengthening Families area. 
Children were able to visit the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) division within DEL and practice social-emotional development with a simple exercise: identifying emotions through facial expressions.

Kids can practice social-emotional development by identifying facial expressions.
From a facilities perspective, kids and their families were invited to see Olympia from the roof of DEL headquarters and learn more about the HVAC system and servers that keep the building going.

Facilities manager, Shaun Sullivan shows kids how the HVAC system heats or cools DEL headquarters.
This allowed the kids to enjoy a great view and teach them the mechanics of facilities. 

Block Fest (activities that teach STEM lessons) takes over a DEL headquarters conference room.
Block Fest was a great opportunity for kids to practice Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) activities--which represents their capacity to learn those disciplines from a young age.
DEL's scavenger hunt list
The day ended with a "mock meeting" socialization that invited families to meet each other and discuss the activities they experienced that day. 

Overall, the day exemplified the governor's proclamation and the theme #MPOWR, as DEL's employees and their kids (even young kids) experienced an action-packed work-day with their parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles--all while participating in some of the early learning essential and empowering activities that the department promotes daily.

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