Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine, Online

Partners In Education: Gallery

Partners In Education: Gallery

With little fanfare and no thought of recognition, several hundred local businesses, clubs and civic organizations regularly step through the doors of every Fort Smith public school – and help. The Partners in Education program helps students excel and teachers to teach by pairing volunteers with a school they can support. How??

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That’s the beauty and the secret of the program’s success. “How”?is up to the schools and partners themselves. No one partnership is more valuable than another – all assistance is a boost for busy administrators and teachers and any encouragement for a student is an immeasurable gift.

Some volunteers read to a child. Some build whole playgrounds. Some donate money. Others give only their time. It’s all regarded the same way, with thanks. It’s all priceless.

This magazine became a Partner in Education in with our first issue in August 2000. Our partnership role is to try to showcase the program at least once each school year. This year our effort is to show a gallery of a dozen partnerships with a few words about what they’ve recently experienced and accomplished.

We asked busy school principals to share any photos easily on hand of their partners and students in action. It is just a glimpse at the astonishing variety of partnerships. There are lots of hot dogs being grilled. There are students in hard hats touring a steel mill and second-graders looking into the cockpits of A-10 Warthog military jets. There’s an delighted kid holding a fish she just caught. There’s a student balancing a teller drawer.

What can’t be shown, but will only be borne out in this city’s future, is the core of confidence a student may gain from a little bit of tutoring and a give-away T-shirt he received as recognition for effort, or the lighter burden a teacher may feel that allows her to re-dedicate her energy to educating and inspiring her students.

That’s all here, behind these photographs and short accounts of extraordinary gifts of time and goodness. And next year, as has been the case since the program began in 1982, there will be more.

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Entertainment Fort Smith Magazine, Online