School Board celebrates community support, names partners of the year

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More than 200 business, faith, and civic community partners were celebrated earlier this week for their support of public education in Chesterfield County. During a partnership recognition breakfast sponsored by the Virginia Credit Union, Chesterfield County Public Schools saluted those in attendance who have provided millions of dollars of financial support, in-kind donations and volunteer hours.

“We are fortunate to have a number of partners willing to invest in our efforts to create a better tomorrow,” School Board Chair Rob Thompson said. “Our partners are vital to helping us ignite passion in all of our students through authentic and captivating experiences.”

Three school division partners of the year were announced at the event:

  • Niagara Bottling LLC for its support of schools: The impact that Niagara has had on Chesterfield schools during the short 2.5 years it has been located in the county is impressive. Having donated more than 81,000 bottles of water to Chesterfield County schools, the company has encouraged and supported student and staff wellness efforts. Niagara also has supported wellness efforts through its involvement in several large projects designed to create safe, fun spaces for students to play outdoors.
  • Communities in Schools Chesterfield for its support of students: For more than 25 years, Communities In Schools Chesterfield has worked directly in schools weaving a network of support around at-risk students and working hand-in-hand with their schools, families, and communities to create access to the resources and opportunities that help them overcome life’s barriers and reach their full potential.
  • Parent Educational Advocacy Training Center (PEATC) for its support of families: With more than 40 years’ experience empowering self-advocates and families of children with disabilities, the collaboration between Chesterfield schools and PEATC this past year has been profoundly impactful. PEATC continues to support families and staff on topics related to IEPs, special education, and disability resources to ensure the success of our students.

The partnership recognition event also featured two keynote speakers: Chris Accashian, chief executive officer of Bon Secours St. Francis Medical Center, and CorRales Dupree, a Thomas Dale High graduate and founder of Protect My Brother.  Accashian challenged the community to continue to support local schools, noting that students continue to experience adverse childhood experiences that impact future development. Dupree shared examples of how community support helped him overcome obstacles as he was growing up.

“Those workers who provide you the daily services you rely on – doctors, nurses, police officers, emergency first responders, CPAs, road engineers, military personnel and trash collectors – got their start in Chesterfield County Public Schools,” Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty reminded those in attendance. “While we have innovative and engaging teachers, caring and nurturing support staff and wonderful leaders, we are cognizant it takes a community to raise our children.”

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