By Michael Karlsberg
More than 1,000 children attended Take Your Child to Work Day, April 25, where the work of the Department of State was put on display. This annual event is held in Washington, D.C., in addition to most posts overseas.
In Washington, the day began with the Director General of the Foreign Service and Human Resources Carol Perez and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and his wife, Susan, welcoming attendees and swearing them in as honorary “employees for a day.” Pompeo encouraged the children to take moments throughout the day to learn about the mission of the Department. He reminded the kids that their parents were “working to shape a brighter future around the world.”
Bureaus across the Department scheduled 59 different activities, including games and virtual reality simulations. Two activities called the “Tin Can Man” and “Nuts and Bolts Tour” are perennial favorites among the children because they allow them to create action figures from recycled materials and tour the infrastructure of the Harry S. Truman (HST) building. The Bureau of Diplomatic Security (DS) brought one of their bomb-sniffing dogs and displayed two official limousines plus a large, armored SUV, which the children were able to sit in and activate the lights and sirens. DS’s Office of Mobile Security Deployments also joined in on the fun, with a demonstration of equipment that is used by DS agents in the field. Similar to past years, the “Child ID Kit” activity saw a steady stream of children throughout the day, which allowed the children to personalize their own IDs, complete with their pictures and fingerprints.
Following the first activity period, children and parents were able to get lunch in the HST cafeteria and participate in a number of other activities held in the afternoon. Take Your Child to Work Day is coordinated each year by the Bureau of Human Resources’ Office of Employee Relations. With the help of many volunteers, the planned activities present a unique look at the varied contributions and important work of Department employees, while allowing their children the opportunity to learn through fun, educational activities. Watch a video from the event online.
Michael Karlsberg is a management analyst in the Bureau of Human Resources’ Office of Employee Relations.