School-community link in works

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Richmond County Superintendent Dana Bedden, searching for ways to strengthen ties with the community, proposed Wednesday establishing an education foundation to foster greater support for the school system.

The foundation could serve a similar function as the foundations that support colleges and universities, he said after making the announcement at a Communities in Schools breakfast.

For example, community members have requested infusing arts education in elementary schools, Dr. Bedden said. An education foundation could provide resources for such a program and ensure the fine arts are properly funded.

"A lot of times in budget times we are deciding between robbing Peter to pay Paul," he said.

Dr. Bedden, Mayor Deke Copenhaver and Neil Shorthouse, the president of Communities in Schools of Georgia, were among those who spoke at Wednesday's breakfast, a meeting meant to build relationships between the community and the school system.

Phyllis Cochran, the president and CEO of Richmond Community Federal Credit Union, has volunteered at schools, but after the breakfast she said she wants to expand her involvement.

The meeting left her wanting to know what she and her business can do to better prepare students for the work force, she said.

"What can we do to help?" Ms. Cochran said, adding that she could teach budgeting and finance.

Ten people volunteered for a committee to explore the idea of an education foundation, said Louis Svehla, the director of Public Information.

Dr. Bedden said a foundation could focus the efforts of the community.

Foundations have been formed in partnership with high-performing school systems throughout the country. In 1995, the Charleston (S.C.) Metro Chamber of Commerce established The Education Foundation amid concerns that the local naval base could be closing.

"We describe ourselves as an intermediary," Executive Director Allen Wutzdorff said by phone.

Businesses want to help, but often aren't sure how, he said. Similarly, schools want help, but aren't sure how to ask.

The foundation has obtained federal grant money to create ninth-grade academies and establish career pathways in schools, Mr. Wutzdorff said. When the career pathways are fully instituted, the curriculum will be tailored to fit local business needs, business advisors will work with students, job-shadowing and internships will be created, and equipment will be donated to schools.

Reach Greg Gelpi at (706) 828-3851 or greg.gelpi@augustachronicle.com.

ABOUT THE NETWORK


The Richmond County school system has established the Key Communicators Network to keep business and community leaders apprised of what is happening in education. To sign up, contact Public Information Director Louis Svehla at (706) 826-1118 or Svehllo@boe. richmond.k12.ga.us.

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jackfruitpaper833
41
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jackfruitpaper833 08/28/08 - 06:53 am
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Get the schools of AYP first.

Get the schools of AYP first.

amazed1
0
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amazed1 08/28/08 - 07:17 am
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another waste of taxpayer

another waste of taxpayer money.

doubt_it
3
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doubt_it 08/28/08 - 07:55 am
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Duh amazed, this isn't tax

Duh amazed, this isn't tax payer money! It's a private foundation. This is something we should have done 20 years ago. The money could be used at the discretion of a foundation board to fund programs that fall through the cracks, arts, sports and maintenance.

karmakills123
8
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karmakills123 08/28/08 - 08:43 am
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OMG...whos going to run this

OMG...whos going to run this "foundation"? Please get educated people.

Unbelievable
85
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Unbelievable 08/28/08 - 08:49 am
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Karma, that would be against

Karma, that would be against the status quo. I like the idea, my company would like to help out more, with computers and what not, but it is a serious hassle right now to donate any equipment to the school system. Im referring to quality systems that are a lot better than what the teachers have in their classrooms right now.

deekster
24
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deekster 08/28/08 - 09:53 am
0
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Anything but "basic

Anything but "basic education" and self discipline. When the "ill prepared graduate and take over the asylum". Why don't we just "divie" up the schools amongst the local industries and let them "run the schools". Procter & Gamble could own Butler and train the students to be future factory workers. Boardman & Assoc. could own Richmlond Academy and train its student to do construction. WOW what a brainstorm. The Georgia Peach Growers Assoc. could own Hephzibah and teach the students to pick peaches. Mayor Deke could own Lakeside and teach all students to be pro atheletes. Alfred E. Newman for Presdient.

KingJames
10
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KingJames 08/28/08 - 10:48 am
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Karma, I think the foundation

Karma, I think the foundation members will come from the business community. Hopefully, if someone is an owner, a manager, or a CEO they should be educated enough to run a foundation. Please think outside the box and don't try to kill this idea before it gets off the ground.

No_Longer_Amazed
5143
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No_Longer_Amazed 08/28/08 - 11:52 am
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doubt_it: While you might

doubt_it: While you might consider it "a private foundation" the federal grant money mentioned in the article is tax payer money! What I do not get is how A-RC comes under the "Foundations have been formed in partnership with high-performing school systems" unmbrella. Before adding more programs, the RCBOE needs to improve the ones thay already have and improve CRTC scores and AYP.

No_Longer_Amazed
5143
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No_Longer_Amazed 08/28/08 - 05:57 pm
0
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On second thoughts, maybe the

On second thoughts, maybe the RCSO anti-gang task force could 'form a partnership' with ARC!

whostellingusthetruth
0
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whostellingusthetruth 08/28/08 - 08:20 pm
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Dana--sawed off shotguns at

Dana--sawed off shotguns at school????? Get the discipline problem straightened out first! Get off ayp, earn your keep and then maybe, go from there!

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