Career awareness gets a boost for students in middle grades

The Linden Public School District has secured funding for programs to help students in Grades 5 through 8 get ready to make decisions about their futures in college and careers.

The “Middle Grades Career Awareness and Exploration Grant” grant from the New Jersey Department of Education will bring $68,992 into the district this school year and $206,976 overall for the three-year term of the grant. Linden is one of just 16 districts in the state to receive the funding.

The funding will allow the district to provide Saturday career and college exploration trips along with after-school clubs and organizations that promote a variety of career options. A middle-grades career awareness coordinator and after-school counselors will be hired to plan school day and after-school activities throughout the school year.

“This grant award will provide a wide range of opportunities for our younger students to make informed decisions and plan for their post-secondary college and career option,” said Isabella Scocozza, the district’s director of grants and federal funding. “It will provide our Linden students with experiences related to career-focused instruction and  awareness prior to entering high school.”

The grant is aligned with the district’s Five-Year Strategic Plan and will increase much-needed opportunities for students in Grades 5-8 regarding career awareness and exploration. It will provide younger students with access to Naviance, an online career program previously used at Linden High School. It will also expose students to the New Jersey Career Cluster framework for career and technical education.

Students will also create working career plans with the assistance of counselors to better prepare and make informed decisions when they attend high school and beyond.

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