Wheels featured in Eastern Elementary spotlight|Annual COW Day celebrated Friday

Published 9:15 pm Sunday, October 4, 2009

Lifestyles & Features Editor

If it had wheels, it was in the spotlight Friday at Eastern Elementary School in Washington.
The occasion was the school’s sixth annual Careers On Wheels Day, an opportunity to expose youngsters to the various local careers dependent on wheels to get the job done.
But that is only scratching the surface.
“We want to introduce children to different types of careers in our community and show them how education plays a part in them,” said Elizabeth Picone, Eastern Elementary’s guidance counselor and COW Day chairperson.
More than a dozen different presenters signed up to be part of this year’s event. Among those represented were Washington Electric Utilities, WITN-TV 7, Lowe’s Home Improvement Center, American Red Cross, Beaufort Equipment Company, Army National Guard, Washington Police Department, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office, Washington Coca-Cola, Beaufort-Hyde-Martin Regional Library, George Jenkins Logging, Sudden Link, local pottery artist Elizabeth Propst and Washington Fire/Rescue/EMS and Inspections.
The guest presenters talked about their careers and told the students the important role such subjects as math, science and language arts play in doing a job well, according to Picone.
“In our character education curriculum, one of our goals is career awareness so COW Day accomplishes that,” she said. “And the kids see a fireman, and they say ‘I want to be a fireman when I grow up,’ but they don’t understand that to do that you need an education. This helps them see that reading and math are important.”
COW Day at Eastern Elementary is eagerly anticipated by the students, Picone said.
“They get so excited. They love it,” she said. “This is one of the highlights of the school year, along with Earth Day in April.”
Working alongside Picone on the COW Day project are Lois Hoot, Joannie Kellum, Wendy Ventresca, Carolyn Walker and Jane Bateman. The committee is looking ahead to the 2010 event.
“We’re deciding now who to bring in,” Picone said. “Invitations won’t go out until August, but we’re already planning for next year.”
Response from the community each year is encouraging, Picone added.
“People are requesting to be included next year and they tell us they want to come out and be part of this,” Picone said. “That makes us feel really good.”