Take Our Kids to Work Day turns 30, hopes donations rebound

Apr 26, 2023, 2:29 PM

File - Alicia Agugliaro arrives at work with her 7-year-old daughter Eliana Agugliaro, on Thursday,...

File - Alicia Agugliaro arrives at work with her 7-year-old daughter Eliana Agugliaro, on Thursday, April 22, 2010, in Princeton, N.J. The Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Foundation is the nonprofit that promotes the day, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on Thursday. The foundation has fallen on hard times recently even as the idea it promotes endures. (AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

(AP Photo/Mel Evans, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — At Michigan State University, children of employees can spend Thursday seeing what its like to staff a dairy farm, work in sports or plant a tree at the school’s first in-person Take Our Kids to Work Day since the pandemic began.

Some 1,500 employees and kids have registered and the university has invited staff to bring any child in their life to explore the campus.

“This is a way that people can see each other and meet their families, show off MSU, which is designated a family friendly university,” said Jaimie Hutchison, director of the university’s WorkLife Office. “It also allows people to see what others do across campus and have more pride in the institution that they work for.”

MSU’s plans recall the roots of Take Our Kids to Work Day, which celebrates its 30th anniversary on Thursday. However, much has changed since then.

The idea of Take Our Kids to Work Day seemed like part of a bygone era in recent years because, due to the pandemic, there weren’t a lot of workplaces to take them.

Many parents were always taking their kids to work — or taking their work to wherever the kids were — in the dawn of the work-from-home era caused by COVID-19. And for parents who needed to head to a workplace, precautions over limiting the spread of the disease generally kept their kids away.

This year, though, The Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work Foundation, the nonprofit that promotes the day, hopes to remind people of the importance of showing kids where their parents work. The foundation also hopes to get some help to ensure its survival.

The foundation, which marks the day annually on the third Thursday in April, was led for years by Carolyn McKecuen, an entrepreneur, artist and MacArthur Fellow, who Dave Oliveria, the foundation’s interim executive director, called the linchpin of the organization. She died in November.

“The board is trying to pick up the pieces to just keep it going,” Oliveria said. The foundation lost money last year and currently has no employees.

This year, it is partnering with Junior Achievement USA to host a virtual event that will include a gameshow format where panelists will answer questions about their careers.

In the costal town of Brigantine, New Jersey, school superintendent Glenn Robbins is encouraging his staff to bring their children to school and for students to accompany their parents to their workplaces Thursday. He estimates that around 30% of students will participate.

“It makes them appreciate things that they might not see when they’re stuck in a school building every day for five days a week,” he said.

Over the years, educators and schools have complained that having some students taken out of class is more disruptive than helpful.

Thirty years ago, the head of the Ms. Foundation for Women, Marie Wilson, was inspired by research into the flagging self-esteem of girls when they reached adolescence to suggest that parents bring their daughters to work to expand their sense of possibility.

The foundation’s cofounder, Gloria Steinem, mentioned the idea in an interview and in the spring of 1993, “Take Our Daughters to Work” day exploded into reality.

“It challenged the workplace to be responsive to the family needs in some ways, even making people aware that many people had children at home,” said Teresa Younger, president and CEO of the Ms. Foundation for Women.

Women’s participation in the work force has been largely flat since 2000, after picking up in the 1990s. About three-quarters of women aged 25 through 54, a group that filters out students and retirees, were in the workforce in 1993, a figure that reached nearly 78% this year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The pandemic disproportionally drove women out of the workforce and they returned more slowly even after lockdown measures ended and available jobs again increased.

The name and date of the day has changed since it started, including boys officially in 2003, though many workplaces have used “kid” or “child” for years. Also, companies and workplaces are free to organize a day for employees to bring their children to work whenever and however they like, said Oliveria.

Around 1,000 kids have registered for this year’s livestream, Junior Achievement US said. But it has always been difficult to measure participation, Oliveria said, but this year’s participation likely represents a sharp decline from the 18 million kids that the organization said participated between 2005 and 2009.

“I don’t see evidence of a million people, but I think that many companies can do their own thing and we wouldn’t know,” Oliveria said. “That’s just a tough thing to put your arms around.”

Younger said she understands the difficulty of continuing to meet the needs of the current moment.

“That’s the challenge of every legacy organization, is: how do we respond to the challenges of now and continue to integrate the work as it needs to be?” she asked.

Bringing a child to work is still a meaningful way to create a more economically and socially equitable society, she said. “It holds industry accountable for the opportunities that they provide for the next generation and the exposure they provide.”


Associated Press coverage of philanthropy and nonprofits receives support through the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content. For all of AP’s philanthropy coverage, visit https://apnews.com/hub/philanthropy.

United States News

This May 26, 2023, photo provided by the Jennifer Schuh shows a Mastodon Tooth in the sand at an Ap...

Associated Press

Woman walking on California beach finds ancient mastodon tooth

APTOS, Calif. (AP) — A woman taking a Memorial Day weekend stroll on a California beach found something unusual sticking out of the sand: a tooth from an ancient mastodon. But then the fossil vanished, and it took a media blitz and a kind-hearted jogger to find it again. Jennifer Schuh found the foot-long (.30-meter) […]

19 hours ago

FILE - Clouds hover over the Oregon Capitol, Jan. 11, 2018, in Salem, Ore. Oregon Senate Democrats ...

Associated Press

Oregon Democrats vote to fine absent senators amid GOP walkout

SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Oregon Senate Democrats plan to start fining their absent colleagues amid a month-long Republican walkout, a move they hope will pressure boycotting lawmakers to return to the chamber as hundreds of bills languish amid the partisan stalemate. In a procedural move Thursday, Democrats voted to fine senators $325 every time their […]

19 hours ago

President Joe Biden falls on stage during the 2023 United States Air Force Academy Graduation Cerem...

Associated Press

Biden says he got ‘sandbagged’ after he tripped and fell onstage at Air Force graduation

President Joe Biden quipped that he got “sandbagged” Thursday after he tripped and fell — but was uninjured — while onstage at the U.S. Air Force Academy graduation.

19 hours ago

Associated Press

Judge delays first criminal trial in Elijah McClain’s death over objections of prosecutors

DENVER (AP) — A judge agreed Thursday to delay the first criminal trial in the death of Elijah McClain, a 23-year-old Black man who died after being stopped by police in a Denver suburb, forcibly restrained and injected with a powerful sedative nearly four years ago. Lawyers for the two officers previously scheduled to go […]

19 hours ago

FILE - Sections of a USA Today newspaper are displayed Aug. 5, 2019, in Norwood, Mass. Journalists ...

Associated Press

Journalists to strike June 5 at the largest US newspaper chain

Journalists across the U.S. will walk off their jobs next week at roughly two dozen newsrooms run by Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the U.S., their union said Thursday. The mostly one-day strike, which will start June 5, aims to protest Gannett’s leadership and cost-cutting measures imposed since its 2019 merger with GateHouse Media. […]

19 hours ago

Sen. Fred Mills asks a question to members of The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Servi...

Associated Press

Bill to ban gender-affirming care for transgender youths in Louisiana resurrected

BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Amid mounting pressure from Republicans, a bill banning gender-affirming medical care for transgender youths in Louisiana that was narrowly killed by a legislative committee last week has been resurrected. In a rare occurrence, the Senate voted to recommit the controversial bill to a different committee, giving it a second chance […]

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles



Thank you to Al McCoy for 51 years as voice of the Phoenix Suns

Sanderson Ford wants to share its thanks to Al McCoy for the impact he made in the Valley for more than a half-decade.

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...

Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.


Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Company looking for oldest air conditioner and wants to reward homeowner with new one

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

Take Our Kids to Work Day turns 30, hopes donations rebound