Building a Community of Supporters: Examples of Rural School–Business Partnerships

School partnerships can take a number of forms, depending on the size and needs of the community. The Gulf County Partnership, for instance, involves two school districts and several businesses, including Raffield Fisheries, the paper mill, a local dentist, and the Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce. Some partnerships have included one school and one business, while others involved one business and multiple schools. About half of our business partnerships last for 12 months; some fizzle out because one or both partners are not responsive, while others are designed for the shortterm. The rest are sustained from year to year, affecting hundreds of students and educators.

The six partnership examples that follow show the varied forms partners can take, from consortia to nonprofits, from emerging to one-year collaborations, as well as some of the ways that partners are supporting local schools and students. [1]

how students could apply to and attend the University of Texas at El Paso, the nearest public college, then return to their hometown and earn a six-figure salary working for Blue Origin.

  • • A partnership with Champlain National Bank in northern New York is providing financial literacy education to students and families in a dozen schools.
  • • International Paper's Ticonderoga mill partnered with eight Vermont and New York schools to clean up trash on the southern end of Lake Champlain while helping students learn about the balance between the environment and industry.
  • • Watershed Alliance—a Lake Champlain-based environmental education program—hosts science fairs at the CLES Center and at CLES schools to build STEM competency and careers in ecology for students in both New York and Vermont.
  • • Huiana is a nonprofit that helps Hawaiian Island youth develop workplace skills through internships. Dozens of students from two rural CFES high schools, Konawaena and Kohala, participate in Huiana career readiness activities each year.

  • [1] Through a partnership with DentaQuest—a company that providesdental insurance and other oral health care services, CFES recruitedfour dentists and seven dental hygienists in northern New York tohelp 750 rural students in 12 schools understand both the valueof oral hygiene and possible career paths in the oral health careprofessions. • In Western Texas, a partnership with Blue Origin—an aerospacemanufacturer and suborbital spaceflight service company—broughttutors to Van Horn High to prepare students for the math and scienceportions of the ACT and SAT. The same tutors later returned to explain
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