Cloudland Elementary School to host career fair for parents of school children

When parents go through hard times, their children do, as well, and when financial situations make school even more difficult, many students find it difficult to keep up. One counselor hopes to break that pattern.

Cloudland Elementary School Counselor Brandon Young said the idea for a special job fair came to him after researching why so many students at Cloudland Elementary School were “chronically tardy.”

“I discovered about 24 percent of chronically tardy students live in poverty,” Young said. “I realized to help the students, we needed to help the parents stay afloat.”

Young has been gathering various resources and companies to form the job fair, with almost 40 tables planned for the event.

“I contacted multiple resources in Tennessee,” Young said. “I spoke with employers, colleges, and other individuals.”

Young said the purpose of the fair is to offer resources to parents who desperately need them. Many of the companies present will be hiring on the spot, and others are providing information and resources on how to find a job that suits the parents’ needs.

“Many of [these companies] have told me ‘We have never seen a school do this before,’” Young said.

He said Hampton elementary and high schools are also pitching in, and may plan on emulating the idea in the future. He said members of those communities are also invited to participate in the job fair.

Young said he does this because of the school’s value to the city as a whole.

“Your school is the hub of your community,” Young said. “If parents see the school as an enemy, then that is bad. If they see them as a resource, as helpful, then that helps the students.”

The fair will take place at Cloudland Elementary’s gym and cafeteria Monday, Nov. 5, from 6 to 8 p.m. In addition to the 40 or so organizations at the fair, Young said they will also provide free child-care “so the parents can be free to peruse what is available,” as well as refreshments.

“We are even having Walgreens come in to give free flu shots,” Young said.

He said he hopes this will become an annual event, that this would develop stronger relationships between schools and the parents of children who go there.

“We all have friends and family who are hurting,” Young said. “Even if you do not need this help, you can pass along the information to someone who does.”

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