Welcome to the Parent/Mentor's Toolkit! This section was designed to provide you with resources to organize a successful event or gain the most out of your participation. You will find planning tips to assist you in preparing yourself and daughter, son, or relative for the event; a checklist of things you may want to do leading up to the Day; an Excused Absence Sample, for communication with your daughter’s, son’s, or relative’s school; sample days to provide you with ideas to implement the program if you are a stay-at-home parent or have your own business.
Focus on Work Family Integration
Most people/families experience the "catch-22" of work and family life: when we're home cooking dinner, we're worried about what we didn't get done at work. On the job, we worry about spending enough time with our families. This is the reality for most working adults today, and the worries are even greater for families working multiple, low-wage jobs just to make ends meet. Yet, girls and boys want and envision a future in which they are able to be involved in all parts of their lives.
In fact, 81% of girls and almost 60% of boys said they wil reduce their work hours when they have children (Ask the Children: Youth and Employment study conducted by Families and Work Institute. We are already starting to see this shift in thinking about work and family in GenXers.
In a national survey, 82% of men ages 21-39 rated "having a work schedule which allows me to spend time with my family", as "very important" (Life's Work; Radcliffe Public Policy Center/Harris Interactive 2000). Similarly, nearly 80% of men and women ages 24-34 said that time with family was more important than earning a higher salary (according to a recent Harris poll).
Yet our (Roper ASW) research found society believes it's generally more acceptable for men to choose work over family. And hold women more responsible for taking care of the family. Most Americans believe it is generally more acceptable for men to choose putting in overtime at the office (56%), even if it means being away from the family. Most Americans believe it is more acceptable for women to choose to give up a career to stay home and care for family (73%).
Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work is an opportunity to broaden the conversation about family and work and make children's voices heard. The program encourages girls and boys to share their ideas about the workplace of the future with the companies that will someday employ them. Once again, we believe that children's voices wil spark change in the workplace and for A New Generation at Work.
Already a Mentor?
- Notify Event Organizer:
Find out who is coordinating the event at your workplace and inform them that you would like to bring your mentee. Provide them with information in regards to name, age, and career interest so that the organizer can prepare ahead of time.
- Invite your mentee:
Contact your mentee and ask them if she/he would like to attend activities at your workplace for Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Day. Remember to also get her/his parent or guardian's permission to attend the event.
- Notify mentee's school:
Print the excused absence form and suggest to your mentee and the parent or guardian that they submit the form to your mentee's school or notify the school of the participation date.
- Inquire about your mentee's career interest:
Have a discussion with your mentee about what her/his career interest are or what things she/he enjoy doing. Research what professions align with your mentee's talents.
- Get ready for the Day:
Ask your workplace organizer to see the agenda for the Day. Note when the Day begins and ends and coordinate with your mentee how you will meet up in the morning. In addition, discuss the agenda and begin conversations around work and family. See how your mentee envisions her/his future at work, home, and in the community.
- Notify Event Organizer:
Find out who is coordinating the event at your workplace and inform them that you would like to participate.
- Quick Research:
Contact your local Boys & Girls Club, Big Brothers/Big Sisters, or similar organization that supports mentoring programs and inquire about how you can become a mentor for the Day or for a longer period.
- Mentor for a Day:
If you decided to mentor just for the Day, try to get matched with someone who has an interest in your career or company industry.
Considering Mentoring for you Company?
- Quick Research:
Find out if your workplace has a relationship with a local school or housing authority. If not, contact an area school or housing authority and express your company's interest in adopting a student to participate in the Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work program.
- Determine Number of Students:
Meet with a planning committee to discuss how many students you can accommodate. Classroom sizes range, but estimate about 30.
- Set Up a Meeting:
Schedule a time for the school/community group contact to meet with you to discuss logistics. Things you want to cover in the meeting include: number of students, activities planned, time frame, how students will get to the workplace and back home, how many adults will chaperone students from the school/community organization, etc. Also be sure to ask the contact for suggestions, ideas, and feedback. The contact should be included, and aware of the process and what is expected from her/his
- Send Invite:
Send a formal invitation to the class or group of students or a note stating that your company is excited that they will be participating in the Day.
- Parent Permission:
Make sure you receive copies of the student permission forms. Before the form is signed you may want to discuss the language with your legal department. Is there an opportunity to put in liability information or security issues? After the Day is over send a tank you note to the students, the school, or community organization for their participation. Include photos of the Day.