Thousands of Grade 9 students making important discoveries about the world of work today

Take Our Kids to Work day helps students understand skills needed in knowledge-based 21st century economy

TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2011 /CNW/ - Over 200,000 Grade 9 students from Newfoundland and Labrador, to B.C., to The Yukon are getting an important taste of the world of work and exploring future careers as over 75,000 employers open their doors to Canada's future work force on The Learning Partnership's Take Our Kids to Work™ day.

"Take Our Kids to Work day helps students understand the skills they need for success in the 21st century and the importance of staying in school so they're prepared for the path they may decide to follow," said Veronica Lacey, President & CEO, The Learning Partnership.

Take Our Kids to Work is designed to help ensure young people across the country make the best choices for success as they begin their high school journey. It creates an opportunity for grade nines to get a practical taste of the workplace that is safe, interesting, engaging and educational. Hosted by a parent, relative or family friend, these young people spend a day engaged in experiential learning in the workplace.

"We know that employers who participate in Take Our Kids to Work day put a lot of effort into organizing unique, safe and interactive activities that make the day exciting for students," said Lacey. "We applaud the commitment and contribution that employers are making across Canada to these young people."

Started in 1994 by The Learning Partnership as a one-day strategy for engaging Grade 9 students in Greater Toronto Area (GTA) schools, Take Our Kids to Work has evolved into a multi-faceted experiential learning program over 17 years. Scotiabank® signed on to support the program beginning in1998.

The annual program comprises the Ultimate Dream Job Contest, a six-week national online photo contest run prior to Take Our Kids to Work day by The Learning Partnership in partnership with Scotiabank; The Learning Partnership's Canada's Outstanding Employer Awards; and it ends with Take Our Kids to Work day in November.

In the Ultimate Dream Job Contest, an element introduced in 2009, Grade 9 (Senior I in Manitoba and Secondary III in Quebec) students are invited to submit a photo and brief description of their "dream job." They have a chance to win weekly prizes and a grand-prize trip to Ottawa based on public votes for photos.

"We are proud to be supporting Take Our Kids to Work for the 14th year," said Sylvia Chrominska, Group Head of Global Human Resources and Communications at Scotiabank. "Education is an important part of our Bright Future community giving program and this formative education program gives students from coast to coast a chance to experience some of the many career choices available to them. This one day is invaluable because it can jump start a student's imagination about where their careers can take them and what is needed to get there."

This year's Ultimate Dream Job Contest winner is Jacob, a Grade 9 student from Guysborough, N.S., is spending Take Our Kids to Work day in the Ottawa meeting His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada and the Honourable Andrew Scheer, Speaker of the House of Commons. He will also tour some of the capital's historic monuments and museums.

Many companies spend weeks or even months planning activities for grade nines on Take Our Kids to Work day. It is a major highlight of the year in thousands of workplaces across Canada. The day benefits employers as well as students - it is a corporate social responsibility opportunity to demonstrate commitment to both current employees and Canada's future work force.

This year for the first time, The Learning Partnership will honour 10 organizations showing outstanding commitment to their current employees and Canada's future work force, with its Canada's Outstanding Employer Awards. The awards competition is for companies that registered their participation in 2011 Take Our Kids to Work day. Awards will be handed out in December.

"There are elements in the Take Our Kids to Work program to benefit all stakeholders - employers, students, teachers and parents alike," said Veronica Lacey.

Established in 1993, The Learning Partnership is a national charitable organization dedicated to championing a strong public education system in Canada through innovative programs, credible research, policy initiatives, executive leadership and public engagement. Since its inception, more than 4.5 million students and leaders in education have participated in one or more of The Learning Partnership's programs, including Take Our Kids to WorkTM, Welcome to KindergartenTM and Entrepreneurial Adventure.

Scotiabank is committed to supporting the communities in which we live and work, both in Canada and abroad, through our global philanthropic program, Scotiabank Bright Future.  Recognized as a leader internationally and among Canadian corporations for our charitable donations and philanthropic activities, Scotiabank has provided on average approximately $44 million annually to community causes around the world over each of the last five years. Visit us at www.scotiabank.com.

SOURCE Scotiabank

For further information:

Norma Meneguzzi Spall, The Results Group Public Relations
O - 416-686-9110 / C - 416-209-1216, norma@theresultsgrouppr.com

OR

Deborah Clark, Scotiabank Public Affairs
416-933-0646, deborah_clark@scotiacapital.com


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