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Annual Program Provides Elementary Students with Glimpse of their Future
Posted on 07/26/2022
Photo of elementary-aged boy placing a robot on a desk.

Elementary students from across Roanoke City Public Schools recently converged on the Roanoke Technical Education Center for a week of career exploration. In many ways, it was no different than a normal school day at ROTEC, where high school students take many of their Career & Technical Education (CTE) courses.

But during the summer, this means one thing: 5-5-5 is back in swing.

5-5-5 allows 5th graders enrolled in RCPS+ the opportunity to experience five different career paths in five days. Taking abbreviated versions of the same CTE classes as their older peers, these young students gain new experiences that may help guide them as they look toward the future.

"5-5-5 allows students to take a look at what they may want to do in the future, both in high school and beyond," said Assistant Site Director of Patrick Henry ROTEC Eric Lear.

Now more than a decade old, the program has been successful from the start. Mr. Lear said new ROTEC students will sometimes ask if he remembers them from 5-5-5, a clear indicator of the program’s impact.

The reach also extends into mentorship from current ROTEC students, who volunteer during the program to assist their teachers.

With the expansion of Career & Technical Education through the new ROTEC at Ruffner adjacent to William Fleming High School, 5-5-5 has room to grow.

"The sky’s the limit," Mr. Lear said.

40 Douglass Avenue NW, Roanoke, VA 24012 Phone 540-853-2502