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Opinion

Believing in education

SoVaNow.com / October 17, 2012
Dear Viewpoint,

The Mecklenburg County Business Education Partnership is currently holding its annual business sponsorship drive. We are a 501C3 non-profit organization so all contributions are tax-deductible. Is your business interested in finding a way to help the schools with their requests and also with fun events?

The Mecklenburg County Business Education Partnership was organized in 1997 by interested business leaders to bridge businesses and schools, educate the community about the needs of the schools, provide resources through contributions and fund raising, and obtain scholarships and grants.

We have three goals:

1. Help promote better citizens.

2. Help provide educational opportunities for students above and beyond the classroom.

3. Develop future employees for local businesses as well as future business owners.

There have been around 90 business leaders that have served on the advisory board over the years and logged thousands of hours. We are always recruiting more interested business leaders from all over the community to serve on MCBEP as well as more business sponsors. We are county-wide; we have leaders from Clarksville to Chase City to South Hill so that we can ensure that we are serving the best interests of all of the schools and businesses all over the county.

Our biggest fund-raiser of the year is our annual Spelling Bee where teams “Pay to Play.” This event is held each spring and has been going strong since 2000. It is a fun and eventful good time where teams of businesses and individuals are given series of challenging words to spell together and have the option to buy their way to the next round if they do not spell the word correctly. It really is a unique and comical time. This event helps us raise most of the money for our scholarships.

Also, we co-host each year the Senior of the Month Banquet with the Mecklenburg County Schools in June. This event is to honor all of the Seniors of the Month that were nominated throughout the school year at both Park View High School and Bluestone High School based on their citizenship, accomplishments, and overall demeanor by their peers, their teachers and/or their coaches. The highlight of this event is that the students invite their mentor/teacher and then honor them with a speech and a plaque, and explain why they have been such a positive influence on their lives.

We also host annually the New Teacher Welcome for all of the new teachers to Mecklenburg County. This event helps make them feel welcome and gives local businesses an opportunity to meet the new teachers and tell them about their business. This year’s social and dinner was held on August 16 at MeadowView Terrace in Clarksville. The MCBEP, the businesses, the school system, and the school board let the new teachers know how excited they were to have them teaching in Mecklenburg County.

In addition, we assist with the school system’s convocation each August when all the teachers and administrators gather to kick-off a new school year. During this event we donate gift cards from various local businesses that are awarded during a raffle drawing.

We helped with the start of FIRST Robotics in 2003 at Bluestone High School which is the club where they build the robot named “SKRAPPY” and compete each year in Raleigh. It draws attention from all over including President Obama who came to visit last year.

MCBEP provides the NAEIR program which gives each school access to receive thousands of dollars value in office supplies, cleaning products, shop items, and other school related items from this program.

We assisted with the start up of Lunch Buddies and Adopt a Class. We read to students at the schools when asked and have conducted mock interviews for Bluestone High School students in the past. This past year we are helping an FFA student go to compete nationally in Indianapolis as well as contributed to the Courtesy Club at South Hill Elementary School. Our goal is to promote initiatives at each individual school because we want to produce productive and viable citizens throughout the community. Whenever a school has a need or a question we encourage them to contact us and we try to help.

We are looking for business sponsors of the Partnership so that we can continue helping the schools and help provide them with the resources needed to get the best education possible. Please contact the Director of the MCBEP, Gina Lawrimore, to find out how you can become a business sponsor for the upcoming 2013 year. Our business sponsors are the core of the Partnership that help make our funding available to the schools. Sponsorship is very affordable and can be tailored to your individual business. Please call 434-265-6789 or e-mail .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) to find out more information. Check out our website as well: http://www.mcbep.org.

Gina Lawrimore
Director, Mecklenburg County Business Education Partnership

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