Elementary Students Focus on Possible Careers - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

3/23/04 - Tyler

Elementary Students Focus on Possible Careers

Choosing a career doesn't have to wait until college. It can now start as early as kindergarten. Beginning this fall, Bell and Jones Elementaries are becoming magnet schools. Bell Global Communications Academy will focus on print and broadcast journalism, foreign language, communication technology, and reading. The Jones MST Academy will focus on math, science, and technology. Parents are excited their children will get a head start in these specialized fields.

"When I was growing up, I didn't know what I wanted to be. I'm still figuring that out," Michelle Reed, mother of a Bell student, said. "Children are so much more focused. They kind of know what they want out of life. And for them to be able to choose which school they want to go to and the careers that they may like in the future, I think it's a great opportunity."

Reed says her third-grade son, Trace, wants to be an actor, so Bell's program is perfect for honing his public speaking skills.

"They started implementing this year the radio station, which parents can hear within a 2-mile radius of Bell Elementary," Reed said.

"They'll have enormous opportunities, not only in our classrooms, but also out in the field with people like you guys and the newspaper," Vicki Mullins, a kindergarten teacher at Bell, said. "We've made some excellent partnerships."

Over at Jones Elementary, fourth-grade students are already looking through digital microscopes, which project images onto a screen. Reginald Phillips is glad to see his son, Kendall, working with the latest technology.

"Because they're getting this kind of training now, just think when they're 18, 21, and 22 years old, how far ahead of us they'll eventually be," Phillips said.

That's exactly what parents and educators are hoping to achieve. Parents have until the end of this month to enroll their children in either Bell or Jones Academy. The only other elementary school in TISD that has become a magnet school is the Caldwell Arts Academy, which started its program three years ago.

Julie Tam, reporting.

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