East Point Academy Hosts Career Carnival

On Friday, June 7th, East Point Academy hosted a Career Carnival, showcasing a wide variety of job fields by some of Columbia’s best talent.

“We are providing a rich and rigorous education to the students we serve,” said East Point Head of School Mark Bounds, “Our Career Carnival, which is just one small piece of that, helps students discover their calling and teaches them what it takes to get there.”

The day started off at the elementary campus with Real Men Read for our 4k-2nd grade students. Guests included a judge, business owners, computer gurus, a stay-at-home dad, police officers, a photographer, attorneys and much more. Each guest chose a picture book to read to classes and then taught them about their career.

“I chose Fox in Socks, by Dr. Seuss, because it’s such a fun book. I wanted to show that reading is fun, as well as talk about the necessity of reading in my career,” said martial arts master and small business owner, Dan Bernardo.

“Building literacy skills during the early years of elementary school is crucial to the future academic success of a student. Real Men Read reaches students who may not be interested and gets them excited about reading,” added East Point Academy Elementary Assistant Principal, Ashley Cohoon.

Students in 3rd-7th grade enjoyed in-depth presentations on a diverse range of career options. They learned about what each presenter does on a day to day basis, what education is needed to succeed in the field and what drew them to their career path. They also had time for Q & A.

“Volunteering for the Career Carnival helps bridge the gap students feel between learning and career opportunities, validating their hard work in the classroom by teaching them about life in the working world,” said Ingenico Strategic Client Relations specialist and East Point Board Treasurer, Alan Buck.

Later in the afternoon, students participated in Careers on Wheels. Dominion Energy and the West Columbia Fire Department, EMS and Police Department brought their impressive fleet of vehicles and staff members. Students got an up-close look at a fire truck, ambulance, bucket truck and police cars.

“The ambulance was my favorite,” said second-grader Kai Floyd, “I have always wanted to see the inside of one. I hope I can have a job like that, that lets me help people, someday.”

Eighth grade students had the opportunity to go into the community and job shadow for the day. Job shadowing provides students with hands-on experience in a field they are interested in and gives them insight into whether it will be a good fit for them.

Eighth grader Even Early shadowed Dr. Jiang Liu, a Chinese professor at the University of South Carolina.

“It was fun and exciting to see what being a college professor is like. I was able to help Dr. Liu grade some papers from a class because it was material I had learned in fourth grade at East Point,” said Early.

The Career Carnival was a big success and East Point plans to continue it for years to come.

“East Point Academy is doing great things in West Columbia. I was so glad I could give a little something back,” said Pro-Tem Mayor of West Columbia, Tem Miles.


East Point Academy, founded in 2011, is a globally minded public charter school in West Columbia, S.C., serving over 630 students in preschool through eighth grade. East Point students at the elementary level receive half of their daily instruction in Mandarin Chinese. Middle school students receive approximately 25% of their daily instruction in Mandarin, with placement from novice to advanced levels. The school provides a rigorous academic atmosphere, is tuition free and open to all students in S.C., regardless of their zoned district.

East Point Academy has been voted Best Private or Charter School in Columbia by the readers of the Free Times and the State’s Best Public Charter School by the readers of The State newspaper. It has also been named a top school of 2019 by Niche.com and was rated in the top 6% of schools nationwide.

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