Provided by Prince William County Schools (PWCS)
SPARK, the Education Foundation for PWCS, recognized business and community partnerships at the School Board meeting on June 5. Each year, SPARK works closely with business leaders in the community and Prince William County Public Schools and its departments to identify business and community partnerships making the most positive impact on academics and student achievement.
The following businesses were presented with a Partnership of the Year award: CroppMetcalfe, nominated by the Office of Career and Technical Education; Crossroads-Connection, nominated by Tyler Elementary School; and The Links, Inc., Old Dominion Chapter, nominated by Minnieville Elementary School.
CroppMetcalfe is a local business that works closely with the Office of Career and Technical Education to provide students with the resources for career readiness in the plumbing industry, in addition to providing Youth Registered Apprenticeship opportunities and engaging industry experts in the classroom to share their knowledge and experience.
Crossroads-Connection helps students at Tyler Elementary School by providing a program for food insecure students. This program provides meals on weekends and holiday breaks through its Weekend Backpack Program.
The Links, Inc. Old Dominion Chapter has dedicated hours of time to the students, staff, and families at Minnieville Elementary School. Members of the Links, Inc. frequently visit Minnieville to encourage and empower students through its Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math (STEAM) program to assist in filling the achievement gap.
The Partner in Education Award, newly renamed to recognize the former SPARK Executive Director, is now the Sharon Henry Partner in Education Award. This award was presented to Bubbles Salon, nominated by Ashland Elementary School.
Bubbles Salon provides sensory friendly haircuts for children with special needs who may struggle to get a haircut at a salon. The staff at Bubbles Salon and Ashland Elementary School have created an in-classroom salon equipped with salon chairs and a waiting room, providing a safe and calm environment for students. By working with trained educators at Ashland, Bubbles staff has been able to eliminate the trauma students may experience and offer a positive environment to receive a stylish haircut, which has increased their confidence and contributes to their academic success.
“Your organizations truly make a difference in the education of our students,” said Justin Wilk, School Board Vice Chairman.