January 28, 2013
Girls focus on fitness, careers
Nearly 100 girls from area schools came to SUNY Cortland Saturday to explore future career paths and the benefits of staying physically active.
Girls’ Day Out 2013 SUNY Cortland PER Center included a career fair where the girls walked around and talked to professionals from a variety of fields, such as law enforcement, medical and photography, to name a few.
The participants ranged from the fifth- to eighth-graders, representing area school districts.
YWCA Executive Director Amy Simrell said 92 girls showed up to partake in various recreational and athletic activities in a campus setting.
At the career fair, Jade VanWagenen, a seventh-grader from McGraw, said she was drawn to wildlife photographer Marie Read’s display because she likes taking photos. VanWagenen shot pictures of her friend Dakota Kleefeld of Homer through a 500-millimeter digital camera.
Read explained that the small handheld camera would be used to take pictures of birds midflight and it takes three pictures per second. Her larger digital camera — a 500-millimeter with a supertelefoto lens on it, mounted on a tripod — drew a crowd who looked through the high powered lens at faces of people far across the room.
Read said that camera photographs small birds who would startle if shot up close. It can take up to eight pictures a second.
Read said she enjoyed allowing the children to use her cameras.
“It’s good to let them play with it,” Read said. “Digital photography is wonderful because you see it right away.”
VanWagenen said the career fair was a good way to be exposed to future paths.
“I like that we can go around and see what kind of choices you can make when you’re older,” VanWagenen said.
Katie Lawrence, a seventh-grader from Homer, said she wants to be a pediatric nurse so she liked the athletic trainer display and Emergency Room doctor Carrie Jackson’s table. Jackson was letting children stitch towels together to replicate the movements made when suturing skin.
“I try to make it fun and be personable so they think it’s something they can do,” Jackson said.
In the activities rooms, girls learned basic yoga techniques and the importance of teamwork and exercise. They gained confidence balancing on beams in the gymnastics area. They were also taught basketball skills in the gymnasium, such as dribbling with one hand while keeping their eyes up.
The idea of the day is to encourage healthy living and introduce girls to career paths.
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