Printer Friendly

EDISON PLAYS 'MATCHMAKER' -- BRINGING BUSINESS LEADERS AND EDUCATORS TOGETHER AT UNIQUE FAIR

 EDISON PLAYS 'MATCHMAKER' -- BRINGING BUSINESS LEADERS
 AND EDUCATORS TOGETHER AT UNIQUE FAIR
 CITY OF INDUSTRY, Calif., April 6 /PRNewswire/ -- Hundreds of educators throughout Central and Southern California recently displayed their skills to a new audience -- members of the business community -- in a first-of-its-kind program that brought business leaders and educators together to tackle challenges facing schools today.
 Through creative displays in a trade show atmosphere, educators participating in the "Step Up to Support Education" Partnership Fair, held this spring, were able to showcase their ideas and "teach" business leaders about the vital needs of schools today.
 Sponsored by Southern California Edison, the Partnership Fair was created to provide a forum for business leaders and educators to meet and collaborate on quality programs for "at-risk" students, kindergarten through high school, explains Tani Welsh, Edison manager of educational services. The fair was held at the Sheraton Industry Hills Resort in the City of Industry.
 "The educational system is dealing with unprecedented problems, such as reduced budgets, increasing drop-out rates, drugs and growing multi- ethnicity," Welsh points out. "At Edison, we feel very strongly linked with each of the communities we serve in California, and to strengthen that linkage we want to take a proactive role in bringing about networking opportunities for business and education. We are striving to create positive changes in the educational system -- for the benefit of students, parents, and ultimately, the community at large. "As a utility, we are in a good position to bring this about through sponsorship of this fair. We were able to act as a 'matchmaker' to bring people, creative ideas and funding together under one roof," Welsh adds.
 In addition to bringing business and education together, the fair also was a forum for educators to exchange ideas with one another. Joe Ritchey, president of the Industry Education Council of California, a 30-year-old program to develop industry and education liaisons, points out that teaching is an isolated profession. Teachers spend time alone with their students in classrooms and have little time or opportunity to interact with their peers from other institutions. "This Partnership Fair highlights creativity, provides networking opportunities for teachers, opportunities for leaders of industry and education to meet, and offers creative solutions to issues facing education today," he says.
 "Edison is at the leading edge of moving beyond just a supportive role to education," Ritchey adds. "It has set the standard for others to follow by focusing and making a significant difference. We hope others from industry come forward and make similar commitments so we can all pool our resources and work together to support programs that work."
 Agreeing with Ritchey is Alan Burks, a business participant in the fair, and founder and president of Enterprise for Education, an educational publishing company. "Schools need understanding from the business community of the complexity of their situation," points out Burks. "This kind of an opportunity is a chance for people in the business community to go beyond a sense of frustration with the system to an understanding, which can result in leadership and support."
 Burks, who made the first business pledge of the day to Stanford Middle School in Long Beach for its sixth grade "Technology Laboratory" project, also points out that, "If more companies the size of Edison had a similar commitment to education, we would be much further along in solving our educational system problems."
 A key element to the success of the fair was the Step Up to Support Education Partnership Catalog. Mailed to business and community organizations prior to the event, the catalog provided an overview of 450 proposed programs and funding necessary for implementation. The catalog enabled businesses to "shop" for the program most appropriate for them to support. Project descriptions were listed by county, so that businesses unable to attend the Fair could select a program directly from the catalog.
 To be included in the Edison-produced catalog, Welsh explains that the educational program had to benefit "at-risk" students in kindergarten through high school, address one of the six National Educational Goals, be implemented in the 1992-93 year and have ongoing, measurable benefits as well as serve as an example for other schools to follow.
 Requests were submitted from every county in Edison's service territory and ranged from a low of $750 to a high of nearly $350,000. Most proposals were modest in their funding requests, falling between $1,500 and $12,000. But for schools operating on such tight, limited budgets, Welsh points out that even those small requests are the difference between being able to provide the program or not.
 In addition to creating and sponsoring the fair, Edison set aside $100,000 for the grant competition. Edison called upon a panel of eight business leaders and educators to select grant recipients from among the programs listed in the Partnership Fair Catalog. Eighteen different programs, from schools throughout Edison's 50,000-square-mile service territory, were selected for funding.
 One program selected for full funding was "Clarkfield: A Self- Contained Microsociety" submitted by Raymond Cree Middle School in Palm Springs. Robert Clark, who designed the program with his teaching partner, Courtney Penfield, explains that they have created a small community in the classroom. Run by the sixth grade students, it enables them to learn the applicability of education to real life by holding jobs, such as city council members, bankers, gardeners, and earning "money" for those jobs. Also planned are field trips and guest speakers, he explains.
 "We use cross-curriculum strategies and integrate the subjects and show the relevance of subjects, such as math and social science to real life," Clark says. Since starting the project earlier this year, the two teachers have been funding it out-of-pocket. Edison's pledge will help ensure continuation of a program that has already received an enthusiastic response from students, he says. Clark also pointed out that the fair is a great alternative to writing grants, by reducing the waiting time for a response.
 Another program selected for funding by Edison is the "Family Literacy Program" proposed by Pio Pico Elementary School in Santa Ana. According to principal Judith Magsaysay, the program is designed to promote both student and parent literacy in what she terms a "port-of- entry" neighborhood for newly arrived Latin American families. Using Spanish language materials, four teachers will train parents to read in their primary language and eventually to assist their children in developing reading skills. "This is so exciting (receiving funding), my teachers are just going to be delighted," Magsaysay says.
 "The fair is exactly what we need -- to work together," says Debbie Carpenter, Somis Unified School District school board member and Edison grant recipient for the "Bilingual Cross-Age Tutorial Program." Edison's pledge for the Somis Elementary School will keep alive a program that may have been lost to budget constraints. "We're trying to cut $80,000 from the budget for next year, so this is such a bonus," Carpenter explains. "We need each other - business and education. If we take care of student needs in school, it helps prepare them for the workforce," she adds.
 Linda and Bill LaBar, owners of California Marketing, concur. "Students are the future of our country and the schools need help," says Mrs. LaBar. The promotions/specialty company owners pledged funds for "Vital Link" at Los Alamitos High School, a program for employment-bound students to ensure they have the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for successful employment.
 Sherry Kropp, an assistant principal from Los Alamitos was thrilled with the pledge from California Marketing. "This fair was a great idea. What most impressed me was the quality and quantity of all the educational programs. I'm most impressed with Edison and what they've done. If more businesses had their commitment to education, it would make a difference," she says.
 The Business and Education Partnership Fair is just the latest component of Edison's comprehensive program to support education throughout its vast service territory, explains Welsh. "Edison's educational motto is 'We serve the future' and we so do by supporting programs that assist educators, parents and students from kindergarten through college. As a leader working for positive change, Edison encourages other businesses and individuals to participate in an effort that will require all of us in order to achieve lasting success," she adds.
 -0- 4/6/92
 /NOTE: Photos available upon request./
 /CONTACT: Cathy Sedlik of Southern California Edison, 818-302-2255/ CO: Southern California Edison ST: California IN: UTI SU:


DM -- LA015 -- 5416 04/06/92 14:00 EDT
COPYRIGHT 1992 PR Newswire Association LLC
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1992 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Apr 6, 1992
Words:1411
Previous Article:TSYS REPORTS 14.8 PERCENT INCREASE IN NET INCOME FOR THE FIRST QUARTER
Next Article:SWEET NEWS FOR THE CONSUMER FROM M&M/MARS


Related Articles
EDISON ANNOUNCES $100,000 GRANT COMPETITION
EDISON ANNOUNCES BUSINESS AND EDUCATION PARTNERSHIP FAIR
EDISON ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF $100,000 GRANT COMPETITION AT PARTNERSHIP FAIR
EDISON ANNOUNCES WINNERS OF $100,000 GRANT COMPETITION AT PARTNERSHIP FAIR
EDISON PLAYS 'MATCH-MAKER' BETWEEN BUSINESS AND EDUCATION AT PARTNERSHIP FAIR
EDISON ANNOUNCES FIVE-YEAR COMMITMENT TO HELP REBUILD L.A., PROVIDE JOB TRAINING
BUSINESS/SCHOOL PARTNERSHIPS GIVE AT-RISK STUDENTS A BOOST
Mott's Wins Gold Edison Award; Marketing's Top Honor for Best New Product Innovation.
Local Entrepreneurs Woo Investors at CLU Enterprise Development Center Forum.
Delphi Hosts Conference Matching Minority Suppliers With Business.

Terms of use | Copyright © 2017 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters