Partners In Education | Programs and Services
Commissioner's Business Recognition Program
Three Broward County organizations were recognized at the 25th annual Education Commissioner’s Business Recognition Awards gala in Tampa, Florida on June 14th for their innovative partnerships. They are:
The partnership between Christ Church with Bennett Elementary, Cypress Elementary and Sunrise Middle School began with a program called “Carry-Out for Kids.” The goal was to feed hungry children over the weekend and during long vacations. Bags of food were provided to more than 45 families at Bennett Elementary, 50 families at Cypress and 50 families at Sunrise Middle every week. Christ Church members also brought hot meals to families on Thanksgiving. Christ Church conducted a school beautification program called “Serve Everybody.” Volunteers delivered and planted spectacular trees and flowering plants beautifying both campuses. They celebrated teachers by providing breakfast just to say, “Thanks for educating children.” They donated school supplies so that teachers would have them on hand in their classes and individual bags for children without the means to afford supplies. Christ Church also provided hundreds of power snacks during FCAT testing. The newest partnership activity was “Reading Buddies” to help increase academic skills in children struggling with reading. Christ Church volunteers worked with a small group of students on a weekly basis. For those children working with our “Reading Buddies,” they have become better readers with an average increase in reading levels of 6 months
Memorial Hospital Miramar
Memorial Miramar Hospital’s Project SEARCH was a high school transition program that provided training leading to employment for students with developmental disabilities ages 18 through 21. Memorial Hospital Miramar’s partnership the Exceptional Student Education Department served as an alternative for students in their last years of high school who have earned their Special Diploma. Each student participated in three to four 10-week internships during the school year. Students learned job specific skills while having the opportunity to put employability skills into practice. Five days a week, students reported to Miramar Hospital, learned social/employability and job skills while participating in a variety of internships. Department supervisors and mentors worked with Human Resources staff and ESE staff to support students during the day. A special education teacher and job coach were on site to work with students and hospital staff, and to provide valuable feedback to the students. All planning and implementation of this program was accomplished with full participation of the HR Director and staff, Department supervisors, mentors, Lead Nurse Clinician and Broward Schools Transition staff.
Students with moderate to severe disabilities encounter 70% to 90% unemployment and/or under employment rates throughout their lives. Memorial has hired, for permanent employment, several students who otherwise would not have been considered for employment – and this will continue. Students who have trained at the Hospital have also found paid employment elsewhere in their communities due to the training.
Feeding South Florida
Feeding South Florida developed a deeply meaningful partnership with Nova Blanche Forman Elementary School that addressed hunger in our community and empowered students to develop solutions. Learning activities included researching hunger issues, analyzing general information and applying relevant data to local situations. An important part of the research was a tour of the local food bank where, acting as reporters, students interviewed food bank administrators, employees and clients to understand the process of sharing food supplies. Students organized information and conclusions to create podcasts that were presented on the in-school television system. Although NBFE students donated 2789 non-perishable items over 5 years, the partnership has developed into much more than a typical food drive. Through a service-learning grant, all 800 Nova Blanche Forman Elementary students created and sold ceramic bowls and hosted a soup meal to bring public attention to hunger in Broward County. In the process, they raised more than $9,000 to date.
Most recently, Feeding South Florida has expanded their partnership to include Sunland Park Elementary to provide nutritious food for children. This program is intended as a supplement to sustain children who are at risk of hunger during the weekend and holiday breaks from school. Every Friday, Sunland Park Elementary students leave school with their backpacks filled with nutritious food items.
Terri Garner, Human Resources Director, Memorial Hospital Miramar and Louis M. Ruccolo, Transition Services Specialist, Exceptional Student Education, School Board of Broward County
Anthea M. Pennant, Director of Government Relations
and Advocacy, Feeding South Florida
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