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Published: Tuesday, 10/12/2004

Group marks decade of school enrichment

BY IGNAZIO MESSINA
BLADE STAFF WRITER
Chris Quinn, a first-grade student, is tutored by Bonnie Bollett at McKinley Elementary School. Chris Quinn, a first-grade student, is tutored by Bonnie Bollett at McKinley Elementary School.
LONG / BLADE Enlarge

Birmingham Elementary in East Toledo for several years has had its own society - a "MicroSociety."

The program, which mirrors the working world by creating mock government and business operations within the building, has been hailed as a success thanks to the participation of Kraft Foods Nabisco Flour Mill.

But if it wasn't for the non-profit Partners in Education, the partnership between Kraft Foods Nabisco and Birmingham Elementary might never have occurred. The group, which has forged 151 partnerships for Toledo Public Schools and Catholic schools in the city, celebrates its 10th anniversary today.

Partners in Education has fostered partnerships between businesses and schools, mainly in Toledo, and has secured grants for tutoring programs, faculty development, and other educational purposes.

"I think we can go in a lot of directions that could help us get bigger," said Julia Faulkner, executive director. "We have a list of 19 schools that have requested partners."

She said she hopes the program can be expanded to every school in the city of Toledo.

The group will recognize its partners at 3 p.m. today in The Andersons store on Talmadge Road at Monroe Street. At the ceremony, gifts will be handed out to the 200 businesses, organizations, and schools participating in the program.

Partners in Education has been an asset, said Bob Clark, Toledo Public Schools assistant superintendent for elementary.

"One of the major benefits is that they bring additional resources," he said. "Sometimes they are our biggest cheerleader, and they help us focus on achievement. Usually we think of money, but more importantly, they bring support such as tutoring."

Arrowhead Park Association recently formed a partnership through the group with Toledo's Burroughs Elementary.

"One of the ways that the Arrowhead Park community can keep itself strong is by supporting our nearby neighbor Toledo and specifically the Toledo school system," said Carl Dettmer, chairman of the association's education committee. "It's no secret that schools are short on funding, and if the Arrowhead Park Association can do a little to alleviate that in at least one building, I think that's a good thing."

Contact Ignazio Messina at:

imessina@theblade.com

or 419-724-6171.



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