Janesville's 4-year-old preschoolers celebrate end of the year with college, career readiness

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Catherine W. Idzerda
Friday, May 19, 2017

JANESVILLE—A heads up to local 4- and 5-year-olds: Monster truck driver and baby doctor are actual professions.

Cop gymnast is not.

On Thursday, Janesville's Preschool for Janesville (P4J) classes celebrated the end of the year with “A Look Into the Future,” a career-themed event at Parker High School.

These children will be the Class of 2030, so it's important for them to consider their career choices now. Also, the event featured free ice cream and the chance to sit in the driver's seat of a police car. If you asked nicely, the officer would turn on the lights.

Angela Lynch, P4J coordinator, described it as a “college and career readiness” event for P4Jers.

When we suggested that people would laugh at such a concept, she explained career conversations weren't a part of every household.

“In some homes, families don't talk with kids about what to be when they grow up,” Lynch said.

P4J is about getting kids ready for kindergarten, and the staff wanted an event that was “forward looking,” Lynch said.

“We're getting them ready for the next step,” Lynch said.

In preparation for the event, children at each of the 20 preschool sites made a paper “quilt” showcasing what they wanted to be in the future.

Many named typical professions: police officer, firefighter, ballerina and veterinarian.

Others, however, saw their futures differently.

“When I grow up, I want to be a pirate,” a boy named Ernest wrote.

Ernest could not be located among the hundreds of kids at the event, so we'll never know if he meant pirate as in buccaneer or pirate as in Wall Street hedge fund manager.

Another child wrote that he wanted to be a ninja—an excellent choice, but what about health benefits?

Logan Renly, 4, said he wanted to be a rock star. Recently, he also wanted to be Batman or a superhero. Better settle on one. The training for rock stars is different from the training for Batman, and you don't want to have to pay for two degrees.

Goldie Dolling, 5, sat in the front of the Janesville squad car. She wants to be a cop. Like Logan, she recently changed career paths. Previously, she wanted to be a “cop gymnast.” We are not making that up.

Xander Jacobson, 5, wants to be a monster truck driver. How would you list that on your resume? Also, would you need a commercial driver's license?

Isaac Williams wants to be a scientist.


“You get to learn more things,” Isaac said. “You get some helpers, and you get to see potions and smoke.”

So scientist it is then. Or wizard.

Allyssa Van Rixel-Graves, 4, said she wanted to be a baby doctor. We didn't ask if that meant obstetrician or pediatrician because we didn't want to explain the difference.

Josiah Chapman, 5, was interviewed after a stop at a science station, where he informed the grown-up there that he already knew how open and closed circuits worked. He did, too.

What was he going to be when he grew up?

“A paleontologist,” he said.

We are also not making that up.

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